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8 Min. Read

VantageScore vs FICO Score: What’s the Difference?

VantageScore vs FICO Score: What’s the Difference?

Your credit score is an important number when it comes to credit applications. But what’s the difference between VantageScore vs FICO Score?

When was the last time that you checked your credit score? Were you asked to provide a credit report when you got your auto loan? What about when applying for a mortgage or a new credit card?

Chances are you have had to provide a credit report at some point or another. However, your car dealer, mortgage lender or credit card issuer might all receive a completely different number. That’s because there are three major credit bureaus that help to maintain your score. They are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. 

And depending on which credit report your lender checks, the numbers aren’t likely to match up. For example, your credit score will vary if one car dealer checks your TransUnion score and another checks your Equifax score. 

That said, VantageScore and FICO Score create most credit scores and they take into account similar credit behaviors. There are some similarities between the two of them in terms of how their scores work, but there are some differences worth highlighting as well.

Here is everything you need to know about VantageScore vs FICO Score!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a Credit Score?

The Main Differences Between VantageScore vs FICO Score

Key Takeaways

What Is a Credit Score?

Your credit score is essentially a quick look into your level of credit risk at any given time. This helps different types of lenders determine whether or not you will be a good person to make an investment in. Different types of lenders can include the likes of mortgage brokers or credit card issuers. 

Although credit scores can vary, most of them take into account the same types of factors. Everything from your payment history to the age of your accounts is all considered. Your credit report will outline all of the different factors that they took into account. 

Your credit score will either go up or down depending on how well you have handled the different factors. 

How Does a Credit Score Work?

Not everyone out there is eligible to receive a credit score. To get one, you will need to meet certain criteria depending on the scoring model. For some credit reports, you must have a tradeline that’s at least six months old. This can include things like a credit card, line of credit or a loan.

Some other credit reports only require at least one tradeline to be present and it doesn’t matter how old the account is or when it was last used. And some credit reports will allow you to use a different type of payment to qualify if you don’t have a credit card. It’s worth checking into and comparing the differences between VantageScore and FICO Score to see which is best.

Credit Score Value Ranges

You’re awarded different amounts of points depending on the information your credit scoring model checks. You earn more points for different things like making payments on time, how much credit you use and how long you have had a credit history. For example, your credit score will increase if you consistently make your credit card payments on time and never miss a payment. 

VantageScore and FICO Score use differently weighted values for the information they find on your credit report. They both use the same range of 300-850, however, one might value a delinquency-free credit report higher than the other. This is one reason why your credit report could vary depending on the company that generates it.

You can break most credit scores down similarly between excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor ratings. But depending on the lender the range can differ. A good credit score could range between 800-850 in FICO’s case or 781-850 in VantageScore’s case. 

The Main Differences Between VantageScore vs FICO Score

There are lots of similarities when it comes to VantageScore vs FICO Score, but there are also some key differences that can vary your credit score.

Required Length of Credit History

You're only able to receive a FICO score if you have had one or more accounts open with a minimum of at least six months of credit history. On top of that, you also need to have at least one account that a credit bureau has received a report about in the last six months. 

VantageScore can generate a credit score with only one month of credit history. They also only need one account to get reported in the last 24 months. This can be helpful if you don’t often use credit or if you recently got your first credit card. 

How the Credit Scores Are Calculated


  • Payment history: 35%
  • The total amount of debt or debt owing: 30%
  • The length of your credit history: 15%
  • Different types of credit: 10%
  • New credit inquiries or new credit: 10%

VantageScore has evolved its scoring criteria a little bit too, with VantageScore 4.0. Instead of basing scoring criteria on the five factors outlined above, they instead break down how influential each one is.

Your credit usage, overall balance and available credit are considered extremely influential. The different types of credit and your experience are considered highly influential. Payment history is moderately influential, and how old your credit history and any new accounts are less influential.

FICO Score

  • Payment history: 40%
  • Your credit history and the type of credit: 21%
  • How much credit you have used: 20%
  • How much debt you have or total balances: 11%
  • Recent credit inquiries or new credit: 5%
  • The amount of credit you have available: 3%

Making Credit Inquiries 

Sometimes you need to apply for a new credit card or provide a credit score for a loan. Or, sometimes you receive a cool new offer for a new credit card that has a ton of sign-up points as a bonus. Whatever it is, when you submit your application there is a hard credit inquiry made.

Applying for a new loan or credit card multiple times can negatively affect your credit score. This can be a tough situation to be in because you want to look around for the best possible deal. 

But, there are ways to help reduce the negative impact this can have on your score. FICO counts multiple credit inquiries of a similar type within 45-days of each other as one single inquiry. 

VantagePoint, on the other hand, will count more than one inquiry within a 14-day window as one single inquiry. And that’s even if they’re for different types of loans. 

It can be important to keep in mind that your credit score can be negatively affected the more times you apply for a new type of credit. 

Key Takeaways

It can be easy to get overwhelmed looking at all the numbers and wondering how your score can be impacted. But if you are paying your balances on time and only applying for credit that you need, your credit score will be positively impacted. This will benefit you in the long run when you need to apply for credit with a new lender. 

There are some key differences between how VantageScore and FICO work. However, they are both based on the same types of criteria and factors. So if you have a poor credit score, you can focus on meeting certain criteria, like avoiding late payments, each month to help your score go up.

And the same can be said if you have a good credit history. Continue to monitor your credit profile to better understand how your credit score gets calculated. This can also give you a good insight into things you can do to continue to help your score improve. 

There will be more information on your credit file about the scoring range and patterns of behavior that get considered. Your credit score range can drop if you have credit that has been sent to collection agencies or if you don't pay your student loans or bills on time. 

Having a mix of credit accounts and a solid credit history are a few of the credit score factors that you can focus on to increase your score. Your score over time will also go up when you make on-time payments and make future credit decisions with confidence. 

It's also worth remembering the different types of inquiries that require your score for approval. Things like mortgage applications, vehicle loans and lines of credit all require a solid credit score to get approved. 

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