AnnaMaria Andriotis
Published April 8, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Smart Money

For a key to your financial future, $7 to $20 doesn’t seem like much to pay – which is why consumers regularly pony up for a peek at their credit scores. Now a new lawsuit suggests that what they’re getting may not be worth it.

Consumers can now order their credit scores from more than 20 web sites, up from around five just a few years ago. But while consumers tend to think of one, uniform credit score, there are actually seven different scores for sale, each of which relies on its own magic mix of payment history, credit applications, debt and other factors. In at least one instance, whether consumers understand the difference between credit scores is now a matter for the courts: A new class-action lawsuit alleges one company is deliberately trying to confuse consumers about which score they’re buying.

Read more: Which Credit Score is Best? –