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Vantage Score: A unified scoring model

Posted on: 30th May, 2006 12:38 pm
Vantage Score is a new credit score that was developed jointly in March 2006 by the three national credit reporting agencies- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This new credit scoring system has been developed to simplify and standardize scores across the three bureaus. Today, customers find that scores from each of the credit bureaus can vary widely. However, this new credit scoring system tries to reduce these variations, and help the lenders assess their customers in a more consistent way. Consumers can get their Vantage Score through any of the three major bureaus; all of these bureaus use the same scoring algorithm for calculating the Vantage Score.

What is the significance of Vantage Score?


The vantage score ranges from 501 to 990 and at the same time assigns a letter grade ranging from A to F to specify each range. Given below is a set of different score range of Vantage Score and their corresponding grades.

Score RangeGradeComments
901-990A (Super Prime)Applicants who fall in this range are considered by most creditors, issuers and lenders as the most creditworthy borrowers. Thus a borrower in this category will get best rates and terms on a loan from creditors.
801-900B (Prime Plus)Borrowers in this category get "good" rates and better terms from creditors. Most of the lenders view the consumers falling into this category as creditworthy.
701-800C (Prime)Usually lenders offer reasonable rates to the applicants within this score range. However, some lenders may wish to analyze in depth the credit history of consumers in this category in detail and may need additional documentation in order to extend favorable terms.
601-700D (Non Prime)
Consumers in this category will have lot of trouble in getting loans by the creditors. However, a borrower belonging to the non prime range can get credit on less favorable terms from lenders.
501-600E (High Risk)Many lenders generally prefer to turn down the application form submitted by the applicants belonging to the high risk range. Others may offer credit but will require deposit accounts to protect the loan.

What affects your Vantage Score?


Vantage Score is calculated on the basis of six factors. Each factor plays a vital role in evaluating your Vantage Score; however these factors do not have equal weightage. Given below are the six factors with their approximate percentages:

  • Payment history (32%) - Your payment history basically shows how regularly you've paid your debts.

  • Utilization of available credit (23%) - The amount you are using from your available credit.

  • Credit balances (15%) - The total amount of debt that owe to the lenders and creditors.

  • Length of credit history and types of credit (15%) - It includes the duration of your credit history and the types of credit you have.

  • Recently opened credit accounts (10%) - The number of credit inquiries you have made and the currently opened credit accounts.

  • Available credit (7%) - The total amount of credit available with you.

How Vantage Score and FICO score differ from each other?

  1. A FICO score has a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 850 points whereas Vantage scores may range anywhere from 501 to 990 points. However, the primary difference between Vantage scores and FICO scores is that the vantage score assigns letter grades from A to F to specify different ranges of scores.

  2. The Vantage Score is based on six factors where as the FICO Score is evaluated on the basis of five factors:
    Factors affecting Vantage ScoreFactors affecting FICO Score
    • Payment History (32%)
    • Utilization of available credit (23%)
    • Credit balances (15%)
    • Length of credit History (13%)
    • Recently opened accounts (10%)
    • Available credit (7%)
    • Payment History (35%)
    • Outstanding debt (30%)
    • Credit Mix (10%)
    • Length of credit history (15%)
    • New Credit (approximately 10%)

Vantage score is an attempt to make the credit scoring method more credible and predictable for both the consumers and creditor. With the help of Vantage score consumers are more likely to get an accurate picture of their credit score.
i am a credit counselor and am always paying attention to my credit. it isn't perfect, but my experian score has never dropped below 725. i just checked my vantage score, and it was 686...putting me in the "D" range. this somehow does not seem equivalent. i was told that there MAY be "one or more inquiries affecting [my] score". their analysis of the score did not seem to be very helpful. thus far, i can safely say i am skeptical of the new system!
Posted on: 21st Jun, 2006 10:38 am
Yeah that's worrying many of us. The new letter value assigned to our credit reports may lead for a lesser chance in getting acceptable rates on the loans.

This new letter system ranges in 100 points differences between each letter. ("A" = 901 - 990, 'F' = 501 - 600 etc.)

This difference is huge in judging an application for credit. Based on the previous system, if you had a score of 720 and above you would be eligible for great rate and even you could qualify for good rate with a score 718. Now there is little room for interpretation when you are approved or denied on a letter grade.

I don't know how the lenders will judge the system but the approval system should be changed with this new scoring system. Otherwise it may create problems for us. Let's see how it works as it is too early to comment more.
Posted on: 21st Jun, 2006 11:03 am
The three credit bureaus started offering the new Vantage scoring system to the lenders in March. According to them many lenders are experimenting but none has used it exclusively so far to make credit decisions.

This week Experian was the first to sell the Vantage Score to the consumers. Consumers can check this new score online by paying $5.95 but unless the lenders start using this score to make credit decisions it won't have much value.
Posted on: 23rd Jun, 2006 11:09 am
My fico scores range about 640. My vantage scores range about 595. If a lender used my vantage score i would be an "f" If lenders used my Fico I am considered good credit. The vantage score system is tramatic for the consumer. This system does not work. Pray the creditors do not adapt this inept system so the three cra' can profit for nothing.
Posted on: 14th Nov, 2007 11:28 pm
Welcome Glenn

I don't think so. The best thing about vantage score is that it's uniform, whether you approach equifax or experian, there's just one score.

Otherwise you simply get consued when all CRAs give you different score and some lenders say "you can get the loan" and another says "you don't get it". That's terrible and then you can't decide.

Well, i can't really do so much of thinking when i have to choose a loan; better get one score which is approved by all and just go for the credit or loan.
Posted on: 15th Nov, 2007 04:15 am
I had a similar bad experience, when transunion switched to Vantage, my credit score went from 789 to 760, an almost 30 point drop, that moves me into the C range, basically moving me from a very good score FICO to an average vantage score.
Vantage looks more like a "Fair" Isaac marketing ploy to get lenders to buy into it by lowering scores all across the board and allowing lenders to justify charging higher interest at the expense of the borrowers.
Posted on: 04th Apr, 2008 09:35 am
Thank you for another great post, puts it in perspective, big reality check for me.
Posted on: 06th Apr, 2008 05:36 am
I agree there jbarto. I love these kinds of posts. Really useful info.
Posted on: 07th Apr, 2008 11:53 am
I like it when the more experienced posters put something out there that we can really use, this is a great example of that.
Posted on: 13th Apr, 2008 06:00 pm
You are right on that. When I came her I didn't know Jack from Jill. Been slowly learning.
Posted on: 17th Apr, 2008 04:37 am
I just pulled this article the other day for a young person that needed some advice. I find so many things on this site so useful. thank you again for such a good article.
Posted on: 19th Apr, 2008 08:04 pm
What kind of work do you do? Sounds like you work with people alot.
Posted on: 20th Apr, 2008 06:11 pm
I just received my vantage score of 690 three weeks ago and then applied to chase bank to refi. they used my fico score which I then found out I have three, 616, 602 and 602. the bank didn't even know what a vantage score was or didn't care and only use the lowest score. I then qualified for an FHA loan which the loan officer informed me had a lower interest rate than a conventional loan. Just one question, does anything really mean anything anymore?
Posted on: 31st Jan, 2009 01:51 pm
Although Vantage score has been developed by the three credit bureaus, it is still not in use and so the financial institutions refer to your FICO score. Chase has not considered your lowest score, in fact they have considered your middle score and your middle score is 602 which is also your lowest score.
" Just one question, does anything really mean anything anymore " - can u tell me what do you mean by this?
Posted on: 04th Feb, 2009 02:30 am
I have three max credit cards on my account. How many points does this deduct from my score, or how many points will I Get once I pay them off?

My report states, "The average loan amount across open, recently reported real estate accounts, such as mortgage, is to low. Having low loan amounts has a negative impact on your credit score." What does this mean and how does it effect my credit score? How many points is this worth? Is this due to income to debt ratio?

My report states, "Your report shows that the time since your oldest credit account or loan opened was to short. having credit accounts or loans open for a longer period of time has a positive impact on your credit score." How many points is this worth?

I make $90,000 per year, I pay $1603.00 per month in debt, mortgage, credit cards, insurance, motorcycle and boat loans, I have apprx $609.00 in utility bills per month. I was late on one payment in 2002. I have never been late on another payment. My credit score is 642. My risk Grade is D, My credit ranking ranks higher than only 26.89% percent of all Americans. I find this unbelieveable. Could you shed some light on why my credit is so bad? I am retired from the Military and have moved all over the world several times between 1980 and 2002, does this effect my score? What can I do to bring my score up to the highest level? I am working to go debt free and have paid and am paying loans off early, is this hurting me? Your help and advice will be appreciated.
Mike Elmore
Posted on: 13th Feb, 2009 10:52 am
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