Credit tier and credit score

After a LOT of research and time on this forum the last few weeks, I’m getting close to pulling the trigger on one of Cody’s Toyota deals. However I wanna get all my ducks in a row before I make the 4 hour trip to SoCal.

I have good credit but I would love to see on paper what my credit score is just to make sure there’s no surprises during financing.

I can pay for a credit score I guess but does anyone else know of a better way?

Do you use Credit Karma? It seems relatively accurate but not sure if it has the score that Toyota pulls but it’s free.


Just run your credit with @Cody_Carter first to see if you qualify before making the trip.


Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are both good resources for Equifax and TransUnion. Experian offers their own app for their score. The FICO Auto score that banks use for cars is different, but checking those three should give you a general idea, especially if you have some previous (good) Auto loan history. I believe that Chase and Capital one will give you your score for free too, and possibly bank of America? I’m sure there are more.

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Gimme your ssn and dob and I will give you your credit score for free :slight_smile:


Those “CreditWise” applications that Capital One use are not that accurate. Nor are many of the other reports. Credit Karma is pretty close, but only for TransUnion and Equifax.

The other credit reporting applications really only use third party algorithm to determine the credit scores. Everytime I check CreditWise and then look at the actual credit score I get from doing a soft-pull, I end up with a score that’s off with a margin of 30 to 40 points +/-. No real way of telling which way it’ll swing.

CreditWise is useful just for tracking how many accounts I have, amount of new account pulls, overall debt, etc. I wouldn’t trust just the score… but it is a useful tool for looking at your credit history and what’s “closed out” or “open.”

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It really is strange how much they all vary. I was applying for financing for something recently and all 3 bureaus were pretty different, and the bank’s number was different from all 3. One had me 30 points lower than the bank’s number. One had me 11 points lower, and the other one was 40 points above what the bank pulled.

Was the bank number the average of all 3?

I don’t think so, I believe they told me they used Experian, which was the highest of the three. Although the average of all three is very close to the number they gave me over the phone.

Hmm, weird.

Does anyone know what credit score you need for tier 1 with Toyota? Just came from a Toyota dealer and the sales manager said it’s 750 and up.

Currently capital one and Wells Fargo are both giving me around 780 via their website (the free credit reports that come with having an account with them).

@Cody_Carter probably has the best answer to that, unless they are otherwise indisposed at the moment. By the same token, @Jrouleau426 has been getting people approved at ridiculous prices at (relatively speaking) low credit scores, so I guess YMMV.


Tier 1+ is 720+
Tier 1 is 690-719


It’s all a complete scam, nobody wants you to know the true number. That way they can constantly F with you. The whole system is setup to F with people, it’s disgusting. If you’re not over 700 be prepared to get screwed and jacked around.


Keep in mind those are often vanatage score or FICO 8 or 9. Dealerships will also use the auto 8 or auto 2 (for experian, they may be different for the other 2 companies) and the 2 tends to be the harshest score. it can be 10 points or more below your auto 8, so if you are just squeaking by at a 720 on the auto 8, you might be below that on the auto 2

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Never use the educational scores to make decisions. I learned that the hard way. Baring getting dealer to pull it, best option is go direct to Fair Isaac’s own product for consumers and get your report there. That way you can see your Auto FICO and the other scores. For some people, the most commonly used score for credit cards (FICO 8) can be way different from Auto FICO and for others (like me) they are almost the same within a couple points. Also find out what bureau the lender pulls and teir needed for the program you want. For example, TFS typically uses TU and although teir 1+ is 720 and above, it’s likely you can qualify for what you want (like some of the Toyota deals posted here) with teir 1. This just lets you be strategic with your money and credit. In my case for example, my TU Auto FICO is 707 but I also know that for my profile, if I pay down debt by 2k, I can bump it to 727 right away if needed. But if I know I can get the deal I want without doing that, then that cash can go toward MSD’s instead and I can stick to my standard monthly credit payment / savings budget. Toyota also has a program for 610 min score but it carries other requirements like 10% CCR.

Thinking about putting a master list together for which version of fico each manuf/finance company pulls(Experian, Transunion, Equifax, fico 8, auto8, auto2, etc…) and also scores for each tier level. Can I start a thread in Ask Hackrs section to collect data points or keep the thread in Off-Ramp? Thanks

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I think it would be a helpful resource to know which score models are used by which finance companies.

I also think you’ll go out of your mind with all of the tier variations from one finance company to another. Might be a good stretch goal, though. :slight_smile:


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Credit Karma is NOT accurate at all. I had a customer whose score was 90 points apart from the actual store. Client had screen shots of 750 above scores where actual score came a little above 650. I myself was in disbelief about that big of the discrepancy. Reached out to a family manager who runs a carmax like business and he replied he has seen a difference of 110 points highest…