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Do you know your secret credit scores?

That numerical expression otherwise known as the credit score is the absolute authority of your creditworthiness, right? Most of us seem to think so; every year we spend more than $1 billion to buy them, along with our credit reports. But the FICO scores and others we can buy have less value than advertised. As we have reported before, they're not the same ones  creditors actually use to make decisions about extending a loan or credit card to you. Let's call them secret credit scores.Here's another reason you shouldn't waste your money on artificial credit scores: Car dealers, cellular-service providers, credit-card issuers, insurers, retailers, and other businesses rate you up, down, and sideways using a whole slew of still other scores. (Those pesky secret credit scores, again.)And guess what? "The consumer has no way to proactively get these other scores, and there's generally no obligation for businesses to share them," says John Ulzheimer, a consumer-credit expert at CreditSesame....

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