VantageScore Scoring Model: The Basics

Advertising Disclosure

Launched in 2006 by the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, VantageScore is a scoring system that was supposed to compete with the FICO Score that was produced by the Fair Isaacs Corporation. In October of 2010, VantageScore 2.0 was launched and this updated algorithm was designed in response to a changing credit economy and a shift in the real estate industry from 2007 to 2009. Then in 2015, VantageScore 3.0 was released which created a more predictive and consistent credit scoring model. This new model is also meant to generate scores for the 30 to 35 million “un-scoreable” consumers.

History of VantageScore

The big three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian created the VantageScore model to create a consistent credit score model across the three bureaus to compete with the FICO score. Thus, they can offer lenders a more “standardized” score from the bureaus and cut out the Fair Isaacs Company. With the launch of VantageScore 3.0, it is being touted as “The New Standard in Credit Scoring,” but can it successfully compete with the stranglehold FICO has on lenders. It just depends on whether lenders will be willing to change to a different model.

VantageScore Credit Score

Under the FICO scoring system, scores range from 300 to 850, with the higher numbers indicative of better credit risk. The older VantageScore systems used a slightly different scoring scale which was confusing to consumers. With the release of 3.0, VantageScore is now more aligned with FICO using the familiar 300 to 850 scoring scale.

Keep in mind, your VantageScore may still vary between the three credit bureaus. While they all use the same scoring model, the information on your credit report may differ from bureau to bureau.

Contributing Factors For Each Credit Score

The VantageScore is based on six main variables, versus FICO Score’s five variables. Here is a brief comparison of the two with weighted percentages:

FICO Score

  • Payment History: 35%
  • Amounts Owed: 30%
  • Length of Credit History: 15%
  • Types of Credit Used: 10%
  • Amount of New Credit: 10%


  • Recent Credit: 30%
  • Payment History: 28%
  • Utilization of Credit: 23%
  • Account Balances: 9%
  • Depth of Credit: 9%
  • Available Credit: 1%

Advantages of VantageScore

VantageScore claims to score thin file consumers (a consumer with a limited or brief credit history or not enough credit accounts to generate a credit score) more accurately by providing “predictive” scores for consumers with limited histories.

Secondly, VantageScore is based primarily on the last 24 months of actions on a consumer’s credit file. This is beneficial for someone who has been working on repairing their credit and the most recent activity is positive.

Lastly, the VantageScore model can consider utility and rental payments provided they appear on the borrower’s credit history. However, most landlords still do not report rental history to credit bureaus but if they did, this is one aspect that can be used in a VantageScore and not in a FICO score.

Additional Information Regarding VantageScore

There is a lot of information on the Internet regarding VantageScore. Here are just a few sources:

  • Here is what Equifax has to say about VantageScore.
  • Here is what Experian has to say about VantageScore.
  • Here is what TransUnion has to say about VantageScore.
  • Here is a link to the VantageScore main website.
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