The Vantage Score is a popular alternative to your FICO Score. This score is usually offered as an option to those who would otherwise be considered “unscoreable.”
What does it mean to be unscoreable?
Unscoreables would include someone with not enough credit history to have a score, or those with such bad credit histories that their numbers are impossibly low. Vantage Score seeks to give a score to even those who might fall off the low end of a FICO.
What makes up a Vantage Score?
Vantage uses a completely different algorithm than FICO in determining a score, although it uses the same range as FICO (300 – 850.) Note that a score of 800 from Vantage may not have the same meaning as having an 800 with FICO. Vantage uses the following to determine its scores:
- Age and type of credit are the most influential. They look for well-established accounts in a both revolving and installment accounts.
- Percentage of credit limit used. This is also referred to as “utilization ratio.” The more credit you have available to you that you haven’t used, the higher your score will be.
- The total amount owed matters, as well. While not as important as the first two factors, they are looking for a particular “good” number when assigning scores.
- New activity is slightly important. Things done recently, such as payments and new lines of credit, may cause your score to vary.
- Finally, total available credit counts, but not as much as other factors.
Warning: Lenders don't use your Vantage Score
While Vantage Scores are gaining popularity with consumers, lenders still only use your FICO Score.
If you're trying to get approved for a credit line or loan, it's best to rely on your FICO Score to set proper expectations.