FICO vs. VantageScore: what’s the difference?

Whether or not you’re on the brink of apply for a bank card or mortgage, or possibly simply curious what your credit score rating is, you could be confused to search out that you’ve got various kinds of scores. Most definitely, you’ve come throughout FICO and VantageScore—two totally different, however necessary, scoring fashions.

Unsure what the distinction is or how they work? Right here’s a breakdown of FICO vs. VantageScore and the way they impression your funds.

FICO vs. VantageScore 

FICO and VantageScore are two extensively used credit score scoring fashions that assist lenders decide your danger as a borrower. They’re additionally typically utilized by landlords, utility corporations, and even employers to guage your historical past with borrowing cash and paying payments. Each scoring fashions vary between 300 and 850 and consider elements resembling your cost historical past, quantity of credit score used, size of credit score historical past, and extra.

Nevertheless, that’s the place the similarities finish. FICO and VantageScore calculate your scores in a different way, and are utilized in totally different conditions. Right here’s an summary of a few of the major methods these two scoring fashions differ. 

Understanding how each your FICO and VantageScore credit score scores work is necessary, as a result of they’re each extensively utilized in lending selections and different necessary monetary conditions. “What one lender considers as a ‘good’ credit score rating, one other lender would possibly think about as simply ‘truthful,’ relying on the credit-scoring mannequin used,” says Carlos Medina, senior vp and head of gross sales, strategic partnerships, operations and enterprise improvement at One Applied sciences, the builders of ScoreSense. So learn on for a extra in-depth overview of every.

What’s FICO?

A FICO rating is one model of credit score rating. It stands for the Honest Isaac Company, which was one of many first corporations to develop a credit score scoring algorithm based mostly on data contained in shopper credit score studies. The FICO credit score rating was launched in 1989 in an effort to “democratize truthful entry to credit score by serving to to switch human judgment with a data-driven credit score evaluation and took prejudice out of the equation because the analytic instrument doesn’t think about race, age, gender, or marital standing.”

At present, there are various corporations that present credit score scores, all based mostly on their very own scoring fashions. Nevertheless, FICO continues to be the commonest rating utilized by lenders and collectors when evaluating debtors. In actual fact, FICO estimates that its scores are utilized by 90% of high U.S. lenders when making lending selections.

How FICO scores are calculated

FICO notes that there are some key differentiators between its rating and different fashions. Crucial distinction is that FICO requires a minimal scoring standards with a purpose to present an correct quantity. Which means with a purpose to obtain a legitimate FICO rating, your credit score report should replicate: 

  • No less than one account opened for at the very least six months or extra, and 
  • No less than one account reported to the credit score bureau in inside the previous six months, and
  • No indication that the person is deceased

FICO Scores are calculated utilizing quite a lot of knowledge factors out of your credit score studies. Nevertheless, this knowledge could be categorized into 5 major elements that impression your rating: cost historical past (35%), quantities owed (30%), size of credit score historical past (15%), new credit score (10%), and credit score combine (10%)

You may also be stunned to be taught that you simply even have a number of FICO scores, all of that are a bit totally different. Fairly a bit has modified for the reason that first FICO rating was launched, and its scoring mannequin has been up to date over time to account for modifications resembling lender necessities, knowledge reporting practices, shopper conduct, and extra.

Medina says probably the most extensively used model at the moment is FICO Rating 8, although FICO Rating 9 can be used typically. He provides that there are additionally industry-specific FICO scores based mostly on the kind of credit score you’re trying to get, together with the FICO Auto Rating and FICO Bankcard Rating. 

FICO rating ranges

Generally, the upper your FICO rating, the extra engaging you seem as a borrower. Alternatively, the decrease your rating, the much less seemingly you’re to be authorized for credit score. And if you’re authorized, you’re extra more likely to pay larger rates of interest.

Every lender has its personal technique for incorporating FICO scores into lending selections, and every can have its personal cutoff for what’s thought of an appropriate degree of danger for a borrower. That stated, FICO scores typically fall into the next ranges:

The excellent news is you don’t must have glorious credit score to borrow cash at reasonably priced charges. Based mostly on these ranges, a “good” FICO credit score rating could be thought of anyplace from 670 to 739. Scores on this vary are “close to or barely above the typical of U.S. customers,” in keeping with FICO, and are sturdy sufficient to qualify for the bottom charges and finest mortgage phrases in lots of circumstances. 

Methods to test your FICO rating 

There are a number of methods to test your FICO rating. Many bank card issuers permit cardholders to view their scores without cost, both on their month-to-month statements or by logging into their on-line account portal. Consider, nevertheless, that almost all issuers solely present your rating from one of many credit score bureaus, not all three. American Specific, as an example, supplies FICO scores based mostly on Experian credit score studies, whereas Citibank supplies scores based mostly on Equifax studies.

When you don’t get free entry to your rating by a bank card supplier—otherwise you need a extra complete overview of your scores from all three bureaus—there are providers that present this data for a charge, resembling MyFICO. 

What’s VantageScore?

VantageScore was created to introduce a lot wanted competitors into the credit score scoring market, in keeping with Jeff Richardson, senior vp of promoting and communications at VantageScore Options and host of “THE SCORE” podcast. “Based by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion in 2006, our mission is to make use of knowledge analytics to drive innovation and inclusion—giving customers extra credit score entry, and serving to lenders make higher lending selections,” he says.

VantageScore isn’t used fairly as typically as FICO by lenders, but it surely has gained fairly a little bit of traction over time.

Analysis carried out by Charles River Associates discovered VantageScore credit score rating utilization amongst banks, fintechs, and different monetary establishments grew 46% year-over-year, from 6 billion credit score scores in 2021 to nearly 9 billion in 2022. Non-financial establishment utilization (resembling telecom and utilities corporations) additionally grew 18% year-over-year from nearly 9 billion to greater than 10 billion.  

How VantageScores are calculated

When you’re constructing credit score from scratch, your VantageScore could be established a lot quicker than FICO. In actual fact, your rating could be calculated in as little as one month of an account showing in your credit score report. Richardson notes that VantageScore can even rating people who haven’t used credit score for greater than six months.

“VantageScore’s consumer-friendlier mannequin can challenge credit score scores to 30–35 million folks thought of ‘unscoreable’ by FICO,” Medina provides.

Nevertheless, the way in which your VantageScore will get calculated relies on the precise model. VantageScore 3.0 stays probably the most generally used one. The newer VantageScore 4.0, which was launched in 2017, is used much less typically. This model is just like 3.0, however emphasizes cost historical past and new credit score a bit extra, and depth of credit score a bit much less. 

Here’s a nearer take a look at how these two variations of VantageScore evaluate.

VantageScore rating ranges

Like FICO, every lender determines a borrower’s acceptable degree of danger based mostly on their VantageScore, which might range. Generally, although, VantageScores could be damaged down into the next ranges: 

The very best ranking you possibly can have beneath the VantageScore mannequin is “superprime,” which signifies that you simply’re a financially accountable borrower and you’ll be trusted to pay again what you borrow. Nevertheless, you’re nonetheless thought of a reliable borrower with prime credit score and sure received’t have a lot hassle getting authorized by lenders if you happen to fall on this vary.

Alternatively, you would possibly battle to qualify for one of the best rates of interest and phrases you probably have near-prime credit score, or get authorized in any respect if you happen to’re thought of a subprime borrower.

Methods to test your VantageScore 

There are numerous methods to see your VantageScore without cost. Once more, many monetary establishments supply free VantageScores, even to non-customers. For instance, Capital One presents the CreditWise instrument to anybody who indicators up. Non-Slate Chase clients can view their VantageScore and credit score report without cost by the Credit score Journey platform. Once more, these banks have a tendency to supply a single rating from one of many credit score bureaus and never all three.

You too can enroll with a web site resembling Credit score Karma or Credit score Sesame to see a number of VantageScores without cost. Nevertheless, if you wish to get a complete take a look at your VantageScores, once more, you’ll want to enroll in a paid service.

The takeaway 

Constructing and bettering your credit score rating is the important thing to borrowing cash at reasonably priced charges. Good credit score additionally helps you get authorized to hire an residence, open a utility account, and extra. Understanding how your scores work and the way they’re calculated can assist you make higher selections that result in larger scores.

“Nevertheless, one of the simplest ways to know your credit score is to look past the credit score rating and concentrate on the small print within the credit score report and ensure there aren’t any discrepancies,” Medina says. You may pull a free copy from all three credit score bureaus at

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