FICO Score and Vantage Score – Difference Between

Comparing the FICO Score to the Vantage Score

As you may or may not know, your credit score is vital. It is one of the most important financial factors in your life. Did you know that two primary credit scoring models measure this score? The FICO Score and the Vantage Score are the two most recognizable models around. The Fair, Isaac Corporation introduced the FICO score in the late 1950s. The three major credit bureaus introduced the Vantage Score in 2006. They both work to bring you credit scores, but they have fundamental differences as well. Lastly, this article will go over the differences between the FICO and Vantage Score.

Learning and Understanding the Difference Between the FICO Score and Vantage Score

Range of Your Credit Scoring

Both scoring models currently use a range of 300 to 850 to determine credit scores. However, earlier versions of the Vantage score ranged from 501 to 990. If you have a higher score, you are considered a lower risk borrower. You can improve your scores on both models by keeping up on your payments and paying down any balances. However, each score has different factors. That means what may improve one score won’t improve the other by as much.

FICO Score

Your FICO scoring model has been used since the late 1950s to model credit scores. The FICO scoring system is one of the most widely employed in the world. Thousands of lenders use this score to determine whether or not a person gets the loan they asked for. The exact formula that is used to determine this score isn’t known to the public. However, it takes the five factors listed below into account.

  • Credit History. Your FICO score looks at how old your credit history is. They’re looking for long lines of established credit, and a good payment history.
  • Credit Inquiries. If you have a lot of hard inquiries in a short amount of time, this will lower your score. To a lender, you look desperate for credit. If you space them out, it won’t impact your score as much.
  • Debt Level. Your FICO score wants you to have a lower debt level. If your level of debt is higher, your credit score will take a hit.
  • Payment History. If you have a history of missed payments, it’ll show on your credit report. This factor is the most important one in determining your credit score. You want a good payment history, so your score will be higher.
  • Types of Accounts. The final thing your FICO score takes into consideration is your types of credit accounts. They like to see a good mix of auto loans, credit cards, and mortgages. These represent installment and revolving credit accounts.

Vantage Score

The Vantage Score was released to the public in 2006. The three major credit bureaus made this credit Vantage scoring system. They wanted something that would be more stable and accurate across all three agencies. Also, the Vantage Score is excellent at giving credit scores to people with thin credit files. If you have no or low credit use or if your score is awful, the Vantage score can rate you. So this model uses six categories to determine a person’s credit score.

  • Credit History The length of your credit history factors into you Vantage score. They want to see a longer credit history with these accounts.
  • Credit Inquiries. The Vantage score model likes to see hard inquiries spread out over time. This won’t count against you if they are. However, if you have multiple hard inquiries in a short period, it will count against you.
  • Debt Level. You are ideally supposed to pay down your debt. The higher your debt level is, the lower your credit rating will go.
  • Payment History. Your payment history is the most important factor in your Vantage score. You want to make on time payments each month. The stronger history of paying on time you have, the better it will look to any lender.
  • Types of Accounts. You want a mix of accounts on your credit report. Ideally, you want both installment and revolving accounts. They both should have good payment histories attached to them.
  • Utilization and Available Credit. Your Vantage score looks at how much credit you have available. They also look at how much you’re using of that available credit. You want to keep this level at 30 percent or lower.

How Do The Fico Score and Vantage Score Credit Models Compare?

Now that you know what factors go into each model, we’ll look at how heavily they factor in. They both use similar elements, but they way they utilized them is very different.

FICO Score Factors Vantage Score Factors
Credit History 15 percent 21 percent
Credit Inquiries 10 percent 5 percent
Debt Level 30 percent 11 percent
Payment History 35 percent 40 percent
Types of Accounts 10 percent Factored into Credit History
Utilization and Available Credit Factored into Debt Level 23 percent

Which Credit Scoring Model is Better, FICO SCORE or the Vantage Score?

So, this question depends entirely on what model your lender is using. The majority of they are still using the FICO score. The FICO has been around for over 50 years, while the Vantage has been around 11 years. The Vantage is gaining popularity rapidly though, so you should keep that in mind. This is why it is important for you to always ask which one they use. If you do that, you’ll know which one to focus on.

This article has compared the FICO score and the Vantage score. We talked about the areas they use to decide on a credit score. We also talked about what made them different. Lastly, it is still a good idea to talk to your lender and see which model they use before you apply. Therefore, if you do that, there won’t be any surprises.

Monica Kowollik


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