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Fico vs. Vantage Scores


Whether you are preparing to apply for a credit card or loan, or simply curious about your credit score, it’s essential to know that there are different types of scores. Two significant scoring models used extensively are FICO and VantageScore. Understanding their differences and how they affect your financial situation is crucial.

FICO vs. VantageScore:

FICO and VantageScore are widely recognized credit scoring models utilized by lenders to assess your borrowing risk. These models are also employed by landlords, utility companies, and even employers to evaluate your financial reliability. Both scores range from 300 to 850 and consider factors such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and more.

However, the similarities end there. FICO and VantageScore have different calculation methods and applicability. Below, we will outline the main distinctions between these two scoring models.

Understanding FICO Scores:

FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, which developed the first credit scoring algorithm in 1989, pioneering fair credit access. FICO scores are commonly used by lenders, including approximately 90% of top U.S. lenders.

Understanding VantageScore:

VantageScore, founded by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion in 2006, aims to introduce competition and innovation into the credit scoring market. While VantageScore is not as widely used as FICO, its usage has been steadily growing in recent years.

Calculating FICO Scores:

Source: MyFico.com

FICO scores are determined based on various data points from credit reports. However, these data can be grouped into five primary factors: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and credit mix (10%). It is important to note that there are different versions of FICO scores, such as FICO Score 8 and FICO Score 9, as well as industry-specific scores like FICO Auto Score and FICO Bankcard Score.

Calculating VantageScores:

Source: VantageScore.com based on Vantage 4.0 model

VantageScores can be generated more quickly than FICO scores, especially for individuals building credit or those without any credit activity for more than six months. VantageScore 3.0 is the most commonly used version, while VantageScore 4.0, released in 2017, emphasizes factors such as payment history and new credit slightly more than depth of credit.

FICO Score Ranges:

FICO scores range from 300 to 850. Higher scores indicate a more favorable borrower, while lower scores may lead to higher interest rates or credit denial. Generally, a “good” FICO credit score falls within the range of 670 to 739, which is considered slightly above average among U.S. consumers.

FICO Score Ranges





Your score is well below the average score of U.S. consumers and demonstrates to lenders that you are a risky borrower.



Your score is below the average score of U.S. consumers, though many lenders will approve loans with this score.



Your score is near or slightly above the average of U.S. consumers and most lenders consider this a good score.


Very Good

Your score is above the average of U.S. consumers and demonstrates to lenders that you are a very dependable borrower.



Your score is well above the average score of U.S. consumers and clearly demonstrates to lenders that you are an exceptional borrower.

VantageScore Ranges:

VantageScore ranges also extend from 300 to 850. A “superprime” rating signifies a highly responsible borrower, while falling into other ranges like prime credit, near-prime, or subprime can impact your loan approval rates and interest rates.

Score Range

Credit Tier






Near prime



Checking Your FICO Score:

You can access your FICO score through various methods, including credit card issuers who provide it for free on monthly statements or through online account portals. However, note that these scores may be based on a single credit bureau report. Alternatively, paid services like MyFICO offer comprehensive overviews of your scores from all three bureaus.

Checking Your VantageScore:

Financial institutions often provide free access to VantageScores, even for non-customers. Online platforms like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame also offer multiple VantageScores for free. For a comprehensive look at your scores, paid services may be necessary.


Understanding FICO and VantageScore is essential in managing your credit and making informed financial decisions. Building and improving your credit score opens doors to affordable borrowing rates and other opportunities. Remember to look beyond the credit score and thoroughly analyze your credit report for accuracy. Pulling reports from trusted sources, such as IdentityIQ, Smart Credit, and MyFICO, will provide valuable insights into your overall credit health.




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