At a Glance
A VantageScore is a unique and innovative credit scoring model developed jointly by the major credit bureaus to provide a consistent and accurate assessment of a borrower’s creditworthiness. The VantageScore model considers various factors like payment history, credit utilization, credit mix, and recent credit inquiries, and then generates a numerical score ranging from 300 to 850.
VantageScore allows lenders to make more informed decisions when evaluating potential borrowers, thus ensuring a fair and transparent lending process. VantageScore also allows more people with limited credit history to access financial products that would otherwise be challenging for them to obtain.
In this article, you’ll learn:
is the average VantageScore in the U.S.,compared to an average FICO score of 716.
What is VantageScore?
VantageScore is a credit scoring model that was created as an alternative to the traditional FICO score and uses a slightly different methodology to calculate a person’s creditworthiness.
VantageScore was first introduced in 2006 and has since undergone several updates and revisions. The most recent version, VantageScore 4.0, was released in 2017 and takes into account factors like a person’s credit utilization, payment history, and credit age.
How is your VantageScore calculated?
VantageScore uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate your credit score. The algorithm takes into account a variety of factors related to a person’s credit history, including:
- Payment history: Whether you make your payments on time and any missed or late payments.
- Credit utilization: The amount of credit you use compared to the total amount of credit available. High credit utilization can negatively impact your score.
- Credit age and mix: The length of your credit history and the types of credit you have, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages.
- Recent credit behavior: Any recent credit inquiries or new accounts opened, as well as any delinquencies or defaults.
- Available credit: The amount of credit you have available to you and any unused credit you have.
VantageScore uses these factors to calculate a credit score ranging from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the more credit-worthy you seem to lenders and financial institutions. It’s important to note that the exact calculation method of VantageScore is not publicly disclosed and can vary from person to person based on their individual credit history.
The VantageScore ranges from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. Here are the different credit score ranges for VantageScore:
- 300 to 499: Poor
- 500 to 600: Fair
- 601 to 660: Good
- 661 to 780: Very Good
- 781 to 850: Excellent
Related: Credit Score Ranges
What is a good VantageScore?
A good VantageScore depends on the specific scoring model used by the lender or credit bureau and their specific criteria for evaluating creditworthiness. However, generally speaking, a VantageScore of 700 or above is considered a good score. Scores above 750 are considered excellent and can qualify borrowers for the best interest rates and loan terms.
Learn more: What is a Good VantageScore?
How to check your VantageScore?
There are a few different ways you can check your VantageScore. Many banks and credit card companies offer free VantageScore monitoring as a part of their services. You can log in to your online account to see if this is available to you. You can also use a credit monitoring service, like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame, that offers free VantageScore monitoring and other credit monitoring tools. Or, you can purchase your VantageScore directly from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) or from the official VantageScore website.
Who uses VantageScore?
VantageScore is a credit scoring model used by various lenders, including banks, credit unions, and credit card companies, to evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers. It is estimated that over 2,500 lenders, including some of the largest financial institutions in the United States, use VantageScore to make credit decisions.
How to improve your VantageScore?
Improving your VantageScore requires a long-term commitment to responsible credit behavior. Here are some tips that can help you improve your VantageScore:
- Make Payments on Time: Payment history is the most important factor in calculating your credit score. Make sure to pay all of your bills on time, including credit card payments, loans, and utility bills.
- Reduce Credit Utilization: Keep your credit card balances low and try to use no more than 30% of your available credit as high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score.
- Avoid Opening Too Many Credit Accounts: Every time you apply for credit, it can temporarily lower your credit score. So, avoid opening too many credit accounts within a short period of time.
- Check Your Credit Report for Errors: Regularly review your credit report to make sure there are no errors or inaccuracies that could be negatively impacting your score. If you find any errors, dispute them with the credit bureau.
- Build a Strong Credit History: Length of credit history is another important factor in calculating your credit score. If you’re just starting out, consider opening a credit card or taking out a small loan to establish a credit history.
- Use Credit Monitoring Tools: Use credit monitoring tools to keep an eye on your credit score and get alerts if there are any significant changes to your credit report.
Remember that improving your credit score takes time, and there are no quick fixes. Focus on making responsible credit decisions and maintaining good credit habits over the long term.
Related: How to Improve Your Credit Score?
VantageScore vs FICO score
VantageScore and FICO are two different credit scoring models used by lenders to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. Here are some key differences between the two:
- Scoring Methodology: FICO and VantageScore consider similar factors like payment history, credit utilization, and length of credit history. However, VantageScore also considers additional factors like rent and utility payments. Additionally, FICO emphasizes credit utilization and payment history more.
- Credit Reporting Agencies: FICO uses data from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), while VantageScore uses data from these bureaus and alternative credit data sources.
- Availability: FICO is the more widely used credit scoring model, but VantageScore is gaining popularity and becoming more widely used by lenders.
The average VantageScore in the U.S. is 695. According to the VantageScore ranges, this score qualifies as “very good” credit.
According to industry experts, VantageScore is a trustworthy model for evaluating creditworthiness. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of credit data and is regularly tested and updated to ensure accuracy. VantageScore also utilizes a wider range of data sources than other scores, including rent and utility payments, which can help those with limited credit histories. That being said, it’s important to remember that no credit score is perfect, and accuracy can vary based on individual circumstances. But overall, VantageScore has gained a solid reputation in the credit scoring industry and is worth considering when evaluating your own creditworthiness.
While VantageScore is a legitimate credit scoring model, it’s important to note that it may not be the same as the credit score used by lenders. Different lenders may use different credit scoring models or versions to determine your creditworthiness. So, while VantageScore can give you a good idea of where you stand, it may not be the score that ultimately affects your ability to obtain credit.
A bad VantageScore is typically considered to be any score below 600 on a scale of 300 to 850. A score in this range suggests that the borrower has a high risk of defaulting on a loan or missing payments. This can make it difficult to qualify for credit, and if you do qualify, you may face higher interest rates and less favorable loan terms.
Related: What Is a Bad Credit Score?
How often you should check your VantageScore depends on your personal financial situation. If you are trying to improve your credit score or are in the process of applying for a loan, it is recommended to check your VantageScore at least once a month. However, if your credit score is in good standing and you are not actively seeking credit, checking it once every six months should suffice. Remember, keeping an eye on your VantageScore can help you make smarter financial decisions and achieve your financial goals.