Posted by William Charles on November 27, 2013
Credit Scores

Published on November 27th, 2013 | by William Charles


FICO Score Vs VantageScore

fico score vs VantageScoreThis is the second post in our series that compares different credit scores (first post we looked at FICO Score Vs PLUS Score). In today’s issue we are going to compare FICO scores & VantageScores. There are actually three versions of the VantageScore (1, 2 and 3), because version 3 changed the range of scores we’ve separated it and we will actually be comparing three different scores today: the traditional FICO score, VantageScore (Versions 1 & 2) and VantageScore (Version 3).

Comparison Table

 FICO ScoreVantageScore (V1&2)VantageScore (V3)
Minimum Score300501300
Maximum Score850990850
Median Score723N/AN/A
CRA’s the score is based onEX, EQ & TUEX, EQ, TUEX, EQ, TU
Available to IndividualsYesYesYes
Acessible for FreeYesYesYes
Used by LendersYesYesYes
Scoring Criteria
Payment History35.00%28.00%28.00%
Credit Utilization30.00%23.00%23.00%
Length of Credit History15.00%9% (called depth of credit)9% (called depth of credit)
Types of Credit used10.00%0.00%0.00%
Recent Searches for New Credit10.00%30.00%30.00%
Credit Balances0.00%9.00%9.00%
Available credit0.00%1.00%1.00%

FICO & VantageScore have a lot of similarities especially with Vantage moving to a more traditional range of 300-850 in version 3 of their product. Both scores are used by lenders (Vantage is thought to be used in around 5-10% [5.7% according to court documents filed in 2006] of lending decisions with FICO being used in 90%) and both are available for free to consumers.

The easiest way for a consumer to get a free vantage score is through Credit Karma or Quizzle, whilst they can get a free FICO in a number of different ways.

Looking at a VantageScore is a great way to understand the over all health of your credit, whilst looking at a FICO score is a great way to see if you’ll be approved or denied for a loan before applying (obviously they look at other factors such as employment history & income, and will most likely look at an industry specific FICO score which isn’t the same score as you see).

How Do The Scores Compare?

Because I’d already purchased my Experian FICO score from myFICO, I decided to purchase my VantageScore through Experian ($7.95) so we’d be comparing apples to apples. It also meant I was able to get version three of my score, which can be roughly converted using this conversion table.

 FICOVantageScore (V1 &2)VantageScore (V3)
My Score821831-850746

As you can see my VantageScore is significantly lower than my FICO score when converted to the same range (300-850 instead of 501-990). There are a couple of likely reasons for this, VantageScore puts more weight on recent searches for new credit (30% instead of 10%) and less weight on payment history (28% vs 35%).

I have a flawless payment history, with no late or overdue items. I’ve also made a number of credit card applications to make the most of sign up bonuses (read our introduction to churning if this interests you).

As both of these scores are used be creditors, it’s a good idea to keep track of them. Credit Karma offering the VantageScore for free means there is no reason you shouldn’t know yours before applying for new credit. There are also a whole heap of ways to access your FICO score for free.

Editors note: All credit scores were purchased on the same day within an hr of each other and nothing that affects credit scores was changed within this time period (including the PLUS score which was seen in last weeks article – as the articles are written at the same time and then released weekly as part of the series). 

If you know both your scores, let us know what they are in the comments.

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Don Endresen
Don Endresen

If both Credit Karma and Quizzle use the same V3 scoring, any ideas why is there such a large difference in my indicated scores? (Credit Karma 693, Quizzle 746). Thanks for any feedback.

Stephen Webster
Stephen Webster

There is frequent comment about the variance in individual’s FICO and VantageScores but for what it’s worth I can state that in my case the scores are almost exactly the same across all three CRAs as of this posting in January of 2018.

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