Turbo Credit Score: How Does It Work?
Posted on February 24, 2021 in Money
For many Americans, credit scores are a source of anxiety and confusion. It certainly doesn’t help that many predatory companies will charge money for consumers to check their scores or make fraudulent promises about credit repair.
Did you know that under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to review your score for free? Thankfully, there are helpful tools by legitimate companies to help you do this — and learn the factors that go into their score and how to improve it. Intuit, the creator of TurboTax and Mint, has a powerful tool called Turbo. Here’s how to use the Turbo credit score tool to get an accurate credit score and improve your credit.
How do I check my credit score on TurboTax?
Intuit provides credit monitoring through Mint, its budgeting and financial goal-setting tool. You can also log directly into the Turbo tool, which is now linked to Credit Karma. Here’s how to check your score:
- Log into your account at mint.intuit.com (or create an account).
- Click on Credit Score on the main menu.
- You’ll get a personalized breakdown of your credit score’s major factors, including credit utilization, payment history, total credit accounts, and any derogatory marks.
24/7 Credit monitoring
Intuit offers credit monitoring so that you can be alerted of changes in your score. This is helpful for a few reasons. First, if you’re working to repair your credit, it allows you to track your progress. Second, it will tell you when a good time is to apply for new credit if you need to. Third, updates to your score may point to potential problems, such as misreported accounts or identity theft. If your score alert says that you opened a new account when you didn’t, look at your full report and file a dispute if necessary.
Here’s how to set up monitoring through Mint:
- Navigate to Settings on the top menu.
- Click on “Notifications” on the left.
- Enable the “Send credit score updates” checkbox.
Are you more of a mobile user? You can download the Mint app and receive instant notifications about changes to your score, new inquiries, and more.
Which credit score does Turbo use?
Intuit Turbo draws your score information from VantageScore 3.0. This is a credit scoring model developed by the three major credit bureaus. It’s meant to provide a more accurate depiction of your creditworthiness while minimizing the impact of normal credit shopping activity (e.g. getting several different quotes for an auto loan).
VantageScore can be based on any one of the three major credit bureaus, but Turbo uses TransUnion data.
What’s the difference between Vantage and FICO?
Consumers often get confused as to why different credit monitoring services show different scores. Or perhaps they received a rejection letter listing a score that doesn’t match what they see in Turbo. The reason for this is that different platforms use different scoring models.
Turbo uses VantageScore, which is meant to be a consumer-friendly model. Although your credit score may be similar to your FICO score, they are calculated differently in terms of how key factors, such as your credit utilization and payment history, are weighed. It can be hard to know which score a potential lender is pulling, but FICO does have specific auto and bankcard versions, which means your FICO score is probably being pulled when you shop for new cars or credit cards.
Other noticeable differences between VantageScore and FICO include:
- FICO does not include collections accounts under $100.
- FICO lumps together hard inquiries within a 45-day window (i.e. when you are shopping for credit) while VantageScore has only a 14-day window.
Is the Turbo credit score truly free?
Intuit offers all its credit reporting and monitoring products for free. It is able to do this because it has arrangements with financial providers to show you targeted offers. When you check your credit score with Turbo, you may see recommendations for personal loans, 0% APR credit cards, and other advertisements. You do not have to accept any of these offers to use Turbo.
What’s a good credit score?
Ultimately, a “good” credit score varies depending on the scoring model being used (VantageScore vs. FICO) as well as the prospective lender’s requirements. Generally, though, credit scores are ranked as such:
- 579 or below: Poor
- 580 to 669: Fair
- 670 to 739: Good (Note: a “good” VantageScore generally starts at 700)
- 749 to 799: Very Good
- 800 and above: Excellent
You do not necessarily need an excellent or very good score to obtain new credit. However, the higher your score, the better offers you will get, such as credit lines with lower APR and better repayment terms for installment loans. That’s because lenders see higher scores as a sign that the borrower is “lower-risk.”
Note that even if you have good income and technically could pay back your debt in time, a low score is a warning sign to lenders. So, it’s important to boost your score as much as possible — even if you’re not planning on using a lot of your credit. In fact, having active credit lines with minimal utilization is great for your score.
How long does it take to get a good credit score?
Your credit score can change very quickly. However, it may take some time to improve a poor or fair score, depending on your issue. If you have 100% on-time payment history but are using most of your available credit, paying off your debt can raise your score fairly quickly. But if you have missed a lot of payments or are delinquent on accounts, those negative marks continue to impact your score for 7 years. Sometimes being debt free is worth damaging your credit score though options like debt settlement, but if possible you will want to follow steps to keep credit strong.
The best thing you can do is to make at least the minimum required payment on-time every month. If you do this regularly and avoid adding to your debt, your score may rise steadily. If you’re able, open one new account but use it sparingly or reserve it for emergencies.
Avoid closing or settling accounts: this reduces your available credit and can actually make your store drop. If you’re currently carrying a low or zero balance, note that creditors may close your accounts for inactivity. Keep the cards active by making one small purchase (e.g. a tank of gas) every month and paying it off immediately.
Get Your Turbo Credit Score Today!
Ultimately, regular credit monitoring and good financial habits are crucial to building up your credit score. Keep a close eye on your credit as any accounts fraudulently opened in your name could hurt your score. Also, some creditors do make mistakes, especially in collections. You are within your rights to file a dispute for anything that seems wrong. But if you don’t monitor your credit, you won’t have a chance to do this!
Take charge of your credit journey: get your Turbo credit score today at https://turbo.intuit.com/free-credit-score-report/
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