Your consumer credit scores are often checked when you’re applying for a mortgage, credit card, car loan, or even trying to get mobile phone service. But did you know that you can have somewhere around 30 (or more) credit scores?
Most consumers know about FICO, the credit scoring system used by the three major credit reporting bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. But what you may not realize is that each credit bureau may use information on your credit report differently and, therefore, come up with a different score.
Developed in 2006, VantageScore was designed by the three credit bureaus as an alternative to FICO. VantageScore is used by some lenders to determine the creditworthiness of people who don’t have a long history of using traditional forms of credit. Unlike FICO, which requires six months of credit history to calculate a score, Vantage Point only needs one month of credit history. That’s a huge advantage for consumers with a thin credit history.
Creditor Specific Scores
In addition to the traditional FICO score and the more recent VantageScore credit score, the three major credit reporting bureaus provide credit scores geared towards certain types of creditors. For example, there’s the FICO mortgage score and the FICO installment loan score. These credit scores look at specific information to determine a debtor’s creditworthiness for certain types of credit.
Many of the credit scores provided to lenders are not accessible to the average consumer. However, you can use the standard FICO score or VantageScore to take a guess at how lenders will perceive you.