If you’re just beginning to track your credit score regularly, you can be confused about where to start. Which credit score should you check? Your FICO Score or VantageScore? Is tracking one of them sufficient, or should you monitor both? How are these models of credit scoring different?
This article explains and breaks down the differences between these credit scoring models. Keep reading to know more!
What Is a Credit Score?
A credit score is a three-digit number that represents a borrower’s creditworthiness. It’s determined based on your credit history, including your open accounts, the total amount of outstanding debt, credit repayment history, and other such factors.
Credit scoring models use a 300-850 point credit scoring scale, with each credit score falling within a specific range. Your scores influence a lender’s decision to offer you credit. They help lenders understand how you’ve used credit in the past and how you’re likely to use credit in the future. The higher your score, the better you look to potential lenders.
What Are the Main Credit Scoring Models?
Although there are different types of credit scores, most of them fall under two main credit scoring models: FICO and VantageScore. Both your FICO Score and your VantageScore measure your financial stability and how likely you are to repay your debt. However, there are a few minor differences between them. Keep reading to know more!
The Fair Isaac Corporation first developed the FICO credit score in 1989. Over 90% of top lenders use FICO scores to make lending decisions. FICO regularly updates its credit scoring models to accommodate changes in the industry and provides a more nuanced perspective of a borrower’s creditworthiness
FICO uses the following ranges to determine your credit rating:
- Exceptional: 800-850
- Very Good: 740-799
- Good: 670-739
- Fair: 580-669
- Poor: 300-579
According to FICO, a score between 670 and 739 is considered good, and it can help you secure lower interest rates from your lenders.
Five factors determine your FICO score, and each of these factors carries a different weightage. They are as follows:
- Payment history, which measures your on-time payments. (35%)
- Amounts owed are the debt you’re carrying relative to your credit limits. (30%)
- Length of credit history measures how long you’ve been handling credit. (15%)
- New credit measures how often you apply for new credit. (10%)
- Credit mix measures how you handle different types of credit, such as credit cards and loans. (10%)
In 2006, three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, in collaboration, created the VantageScore credit score model. The VantageScore model uses many of the same factors as the FICO credit score model to determine your credit score. However, it weighs these factors differently.
In the FICO model, your payment history is the most significant factor affecting your credit score. However, in the VantageScore Model, your credit utilization ratio is the most influential factor in credit scoring.
The VantageScore credit score ranges are as follows:
- Excellent: 781-850
- Good: 661-780
- Fair: 601-660
- Poor: 500-600
- Very Poor: 300-499
The VantageScore model uses the following factors to calculate your credit score:
- Total credit usage, balance, and available credit (Extremely Influential)
- Credit mix and experience (Highly Influential)
- Payment history (Moderately Influential)
- Age of credit history (Less Influential)
- New accounts (Less Influential)
If you have further questions about calculating your score and which model to follow, get in touch with a credit bureau.