FICO and VantageScore are the two top dogs of the credit-scoring market. So for your wallet’s sake, it’s important to understand what distinguishes them.
Here’s what you need to know:
VantageScore vs. FICO Score – Key Differences
|Most Popular Model||VantageScore 3.0||FICO Score 8|
|Score Range||300 to 850||300 to 850|
|Scoreable Population||225 million||190 million|
|Share of Lenders Using Score||80% of the 25 largest lenders||90% of the 100 largest lenders|
|Scores Issued per Year||8 billion||10 billion|
|Recent Credit Experience Needed for Score||1 month||6 months|
|Inquiry Grouping Period*||14 days||30-45 days|
|Late-Payment Damage||Missed mortgage payments are more damaging than other types||Late payments are treated equally, regardless of account type|
|Treatment of Collection Accounts||Once paid, collection accounts stop being considered||Collection accounts with original balances under $100 aren’t considered|
|Authorized Users||Moderate credit-building capacity||Limited credit-building capacity|
|Free Providers||• WalletHub|
• Capital One
• Credit Karma
• See More
|• American Express|
• Bank of America
• See More
You can see where your credit stands according to the VantageScore 3.0 model by signing up for a free WalletHub account. WalletHub is the only source of free credit scores – of any type – that are updated on a daily basis. You can also get free FICO scores from a few select providers, including Discover.
Crowded Credit-Score Market
FICO is an easy-to-remember acronym, but it really doesn’t tell you much as far as credit scores are concerned. Each of us has as many as 49 different scores issued by the Fair Isaac Corporation, or FICO, among more than 1,000 scores overall. And guess what? In many cases, they won't exactly match what any lender uses to evaluate our trustworthiness as borrowers – or what some might call our “real” credit score.
That’s right. All major lenders use proprietary in-house credit scores, which might be based on over-the-counter scoring models but are modified in such a way as to provide drastically different results than anything we can get our hands on.
That, in turn, makes the brand and model of the credit score that you reference almost immaterial. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a FICO or VantageScore credit score or whether it’s based on your TransUnion, Equifax or Experian credit report. What matters is that you actually check your score. You should also get it for free from a reputable source and reference the same type of score over time for the sake of accurate comparison.
Credit scoring is a nuanced, often opaque business. In the interest of pulling back the curtain a bit, we asked credit-industry executives for their take on VantageScore 3.0, including how it compared to the newest FICO model. You can find their bios and responses to the following questions below.
- Which is better and why: VantageScore 3.0 or FICO Score 9?
- Which aspects of VantageScore 3.0 do you like most, relative to previous versions?
- What will FICO’s share of the credit-scoring market be five years from now?