DEFINITION of 'VantageScore'

A consumer credit rating product developed by three credit rating agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian - as an alternative to the FICO Score. VantageScore uses a different rating scale (501 to 990) than FICO (300 to 850), and is branded as a score that provides lending institutions and banks information related to subprime financing. The score is calculated through a weighted average of a consumer's available credit, recent credit, payment history, credit utilization, depth of credit and credit balances. It was launched in 2006.

BREAKING DOWN 'VantageScore'

VantageScore places the greatest weight on payment history and credit utilization, just as the FICO Score does. As a parallel to its numerical score VantageScore also has an alphabetical score ranging from A to F, with a determination of "A" meaning that a consumer is the most credit worthy. Most lending institutions continue to use the FICO Score as it has been around much longer, since 1956.

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