What’s Better? FICO Score vs. VantageScore

There are two major types of credit scores you should know about: VantageScore and FICO Score. At Kikoff we provide you with a VantageScore 3.0 credit score, but we expect you to see improvements in all other types of credit scoring models, including FICO.

But what’s the difference between VantageScore 3.0 and FICO Score?

FICO Score and VantageScore are both credit scoring models used by lenders to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness.

Here are the key differences between FICO Score and VantageScore:

  1. FICO and VantageScore are competing companies:
    • FICO Score: FICO is developed by one company, Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO).
    • VantageScore: VantageScore is a joint development by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It was introduced to compete against FICO Score.
  2. They both report scoring range between 300 – 850 but some can go a little higher with the newer VantageScore 5.0:
    • FICO Score: Scores typically range from 300 to 850.
    • VantageScore: VantageScore 3.0 also has a score range of 300 to 850. However, VantageScore 5.0 introduced a new “Experian Boost” feature that allows some consumers get above an 850 credit score.
  3. They have different credit factors calculations:
    • FICO Score: FICO reports that the following factors that impact your score: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and credit mix (10%).
    • VantageScore: VantageScore reports factors are similar to FICO in which they include payment history, credit age and mix, credit utilization, recent credit behavior, and available credit. However, VantageScore 3.0 may calculate late payments less heavily than FICO Score.
    • FICO Score: FICO typically dings you more for late payments. And your credit score can be more affected if the late payment is recent and more severe.
    • VantageScore: Frequency and severity of late payments also affect VantageScore credit scores but they may not affect credit scores as heavily as FICO does.
  4. VantageScore is more accessible and easier to qualify:
    • FICO Score: You need to have at least one trade line that’s at least 6 months old. An example trade line is a credit card, loan, line of credit, etc).
    • VantageScore: VantageScore has a more consumer-friendly model. Like FICO, you need at least one trade line; however, that trade line age doesn’t matter. VantageScore also scores people who haven’t used their trade line in 6 months. Additionally, scores can be calculated in as little as one month. That’s really fast.

Overall, you have more than one credit score.

It’s important to note that both FICO Score and VantageScore are widely used by lenders. But the specific version and scoring model used can vary among lenders. As a result, it’s important to know that you have different credit scores and you should monitor your credit reports and scores regularly.