What is VantageScore 2.0?

What is VantageScore 2.0?

UPDATE: Credit Karma now offers VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax. Check your scores today!

In the 1970s, the Fair Isaac Corporation created the first credit scoring system, dubbed the FICO score. This has since been standardized as the industry's leading credit score model to assess potential borrowers. More recently, the VantageScore was created in collaboration with the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) as a new generic proprietary credit score model marketed as a more "consistent interpretation" and "accurate score" than FICO. As Credit Karma provides you with your VantageScore for free, here's what you need to know about it. Note that these details are based on the VantageScore 2.0 model.

Credit Scores Vary

First of all, it's important to keep in mind that you do not have one "true" credit score. There are actually over 100 different credit scoring models used in the industry that varies by bureau, reporting agency, model type and lender. Each model uses a different algorithm that weighs each part of your credit report differently, which explains why you may have a 750 from Credit Karma and a 762 from FICO. We've previously addressed how to understand the credit score differences; there are indeed many different credit score models, but they are all highly correlated. They use different ranges, different formulas, and the information found on your credit report can differ from bureau to bureau, but all the models aim to assess your credit history and translate it into your 3-digit credit score number.

The VantageScore

The three major credit bureaus offer their own proprietary models but usually provide the FICO score to lenders. The VantageScore was created as a consistent credit score model across the three bureaus to compete with the FICO score and offer lenders a more standardized score.

The VantageScore is being touted as "The New Standard in Credit Scoring," and it can potentially become big if the bureaus can compete successfully with the stranglehold FICO has on lenders. It just depends on whether lenders will be willing to change to a different model.

The VantageScore offers additional features that the FICO model doesn't incorporate, such as predictive scoring and a 24-month review of credit history. Here are some of the main differences between the two competitors:

  • Score range is from 501 to 990
  • VantageScore uses letter grades to spell out your credit health: 901-990 = A or Super Prime, 801-900 = B or Prime Plus, 701-800 = C or Prime, 601-700 = D or Non-Prime, and 501-600 = F or High Risk.
  • Takes into account 6 components of your credit report: payment history, utilization, balances, depth of credit, recent credit, and available credit.
  • VantageScore claims to score thin file consumers more accurately by providing predicative scores for consumers with limited histories
  • FICO range is from 300 to 850
  • No letter grades for FICO
  • Takes into account 5 components of credit report: payment history, amount of debt, credit history, types of accounts, and inquiries.
  • Thin file consumers often cannot generate a credit score at all, or are scored with inflated, high scores because they have few credit actions on file

Bottom Line

The VantageScore's particular credit scoring method is especially good news for consumers with thin files and consumers who may have prior negative actions against them but have a good recent history.

Again, please keep in mind that the VantageScore is one of dozens of models in use, and your VantageScore will still vary between the three credit bureaus. While they use the same scoring model, the information on your credit report may differ from bureau to bureau.

What is most important is that you monitor and manage your credit health by checking your credit score every few weeks. Keeping track of your credit score over time, not just once or twice, will give you the most valuable insights into how to adjust your credit habits to build towards a healthy score.

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

All Comments

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1 Contribution
117 People Helped

Helpful to 117 out of 125 people

Hello Learn Vest advisers:

My VantageScore score is C "good" and Credit Karma gives 628 "poor. Which one the lenders see? I have done my best to improve my credit score and only Vantage Score seems to notice. This is so confusing. Please elaborate.


New Learn Vest customer

1 Contribution
4 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Despite the supposed predictive value of the Vantage score I find it unrealistic.  I have never had a late payment and pay in full each month.  Yet when I increase the amount of items charged my score immediately drops, now down to B, even though all accounts are paid in full each month.  This makes no sense and is certainly not predictive of ability to pay. When you increase credit card purchases Vantage apparently thinks you in dire financial condition and are doing this only because you can't pay your current bills.  Based on what?

1 Contribution
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people


I have never had a credit card, i did get a loan, and found out because i paid it off in 3 months, that i got nothing for it towards my credit.  I have had a very hard up life, with no sense of security and never knowing what job I would be working, whether it would be because I had to move and whatnot.  Basically, there were things i could not pay and went to collections. I was young and was worried about now, not later.  Things have finally smoothed out, and I am finally making strides forward.  Now I am at the point I feel I can have credit and use it responsibly.  The problem?  Well My credit score is 564 and I am only showing two accounts in collections on here.  The problem I am having is finding the information on these collections.  How to pay them off, and if they are truelly correct.  I have something posted as state colls, which im guessing is state collections.  Its pretty big and scary number, about 8000.  If i do figure this out, will making payments on collections help my credit score? Or am i screwed untill i pay them completely off.  

8 Contributions
1776 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

This week my Karma score increased from 664 to 705 while my Vantage score jumped a gigantic 661 to 813.  I applied for Citi credit online and was declined.  I called their credit analyst and she said my Experian score (she wouldn't give me the score) but when I asked if it was below she confirmed it.  EQ is perfect.  TU and EXP have one small neg which will fall off in 30 days.  She said they use 10 different scoring models;  one for credit cards, another for lines of credit, blah blah.  I have had credit for over forty years and understand nothing.  All I did for this huge jump was lower the one Visa I have with Wells Fargo fro 80% utilization to 0 zero.  I want to get a small mtge in Florida (guaranteed by the VA for the first 25% (no down) and no PMI.  Guess I'll wait until Nov while home prices are on the rise as mtge rates.  I hope this helps some of you.

9 Contributions
162 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

TU FICO went up 10 points but TU VANTAGE went down by 14 points.  My utilization went up from 3 percent to 21 percent from my last report due to a new Paypal Extras MC I received which has some funky payment processing and reporting process.  Paid off my balance a day before the payment due date but the funding source linked to the card which was my bank checking account ends up being an e-check that takes 4 days to process!!

Guess we'll see what happens next reporting period but still weird how my FICO/CK score went up and my VANTAGE score went down.

3 Contributions
4 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

So, just a quick FYI - VantageScore 3.0 was just released this year (2013). It no longer gives a score from 500-990, but a score of 300-850. It has also changed how some of the items are calculated see here http://your.vantagescore.com/score-influences.  For those who want to check it out you can go http://www.vantagescore.com/ or to their consumer site http://your.vantagescore.com/

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I own  a property management company, and would like to try to help out the contributors that are asking for advice on renting with poor credit scores.

Number one is, the majority of landlords in my area of the country including me, run Experian reports on prospects. If I ran Transunion reports, my buildings would be empty since their score is the lowest of all 3. So knowing that, get your Experian score, and know it BEFORE you go looking for a rental. Don't waste the manager/landlord's time and patience, ask them upfront what their credit score requirements are BEFORE you go into all the other issues in regards to renting.

Now, you may have a credit score that's high enough and still be denied. Federal and state tax liens, evictions, and un-discharged bankruptcies less than 2 years old can easily get you denied.

Also, and this is a BIGGIE!!! When you get your credit report, add up your mandatory minimum payments on all your listed accounts. Also note your defferred payments on student loans. Total these together and match them to your gross monthly income that you will be supplying to the landlord. I have denied prospective tenants that have a decent credit score, because their monthly obligations exceed, or come very close to, the total of what they make!!! How will you pay for food, gas, insurance, utilities, etc.?

In conclusion, if your credit score is really bad, stop looking at rentals in very nice to standard middle class neighborhoods. And stop looking at rentals that cost too much for your income in the first place. There are lots of landlords that will rent to people with bad credit. They usually charge double security deposits, and higher than average rents for dumpy/nasty rentals. So get honest with yourself and realize that up front. It will save you a lot of grief. That way you are in a solid position to start to make things right again.

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

These are all fine comments, but no one can explain WHY I am rated as I am. I cleared my mortgage far ahead of time to save on interest (why would that work against me?). I have several credit cards but usually use no more than two (is that a negative?). I am never late when I maintain a credit-card balance and usually clear balances in full each month (is that seen as a flaw, rather than something positive?). I purchased a completely new HFAC system last year and could have paid cash but, offered a no-interest alternative if I cleared the account in 24 months, opted for that. So far I am well ahead of the ultimate due date, but CreditKarma suggests clearing this no-interest loan and switching to a Discover card (what would be the advantage in this?). Despite my circumspection, I am not considered a "super prime" lending risk but a "prime plus." My rating has actually gone down (is that because I retired three years ago and now live (very comfortably) on a lower income than I had in my "peak" earning years or . . . ?). How can I learn the reasons for my score(s).

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

who uses vantage score looking for a loan thanks,

2 Contributions
92 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

I had shaky credit a few years ago and I followed this similar model; opened a secured credit card with cash which reported to the credit agencies and I've got my score up almost 100 points now.  This didn't happen over night but was due to a combination of paying everything on time, paying down my credit card balances to almost zero, and getting extra credit with the secured card.  I still have one more old collection to pay off but I'm very encouraged with how much my score has gone up just by monitoring it every month and striving to be responsible now.



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