Credit Score Tug Of War


About Your Credit Score

Getting information on what affects your credit score and how your credit score works, are some of the most misunderstood ideas. They are also frequently asked questions in Real Estate (besides is now a good time to sell?).  Your credit score on CreditKarma is a different model than your "FICO" score.  All too often clients come in certain of their credit score because they've been dutiful in tracking it through CreditKarma, only to find out through a mortgage lender their score is actually lower than they think. In fact, credit card companies, car dealerships, and other places may use different models and all give you different scores. Confused yet?  It's a confusing maze of what impacts what and I explain exactly what you need to know. 

What are the Main Models?

What is VantageScore: VantageScore is a consumer credit rating product developed by the top three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, in 2006 as an alternative to the FICO score, created by the Fair Isaac Corporation in 1989.

"A VantageScore synthesizes information from all three credit bureaus and is the same for each bureau, while a FICO score only uses information from one credit bureau and is specific to that bureau."

What is a FICO?

Fair Isaac Corporation created FICO scores. There are many different versions of the FICO score based on different scoring models. FICO scores use information in your credit report to help determine your likelihood of paying bills on time. Lenders often use FICO scores to help decide if they will extend credit to consumers.

What is the Purpose of a Credit Score?

FICO scores, as well as credit scores other companies calculate using different models, can predict similar types of risk, ability to payback credit extended and likelihood to pay on time.  Different credit score models have different formulas and calculations (often called algorithms) that use data differently to help predict a person’s likelihood to repay bills on time.

Although FICO has many different scoring models, it uses relative percentage weights to help determ

ine how much impact certain factors will have in helping determine a FICO credit score.

According to USA Today, both models use these factors considered in your credit score calculations are below. Depending on the scoring model used, the weight each factor carries as far as impacting a credit score may vary.

  • The number of accounts you have
  • The types of accounts
  • Your used credit vs. your available credit
  • The length of your credit history
  • Your payment history


Credit scores range between 200 and 850, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. Credit scores are used by lenders, including banks providing mortgage loans, credit card companies, and even car dealerships financing auto purchases, to make decisions about whether or not to offer your credit (such as a credit card or loan) and what the terms of the offer (such as the interest rate or down payment) will be.

FICO® Score Ranges:

CREDIT SCORE                    RATING        % OF PEOPLE     IMPACT                                                                                                


Very Poor                            


Credit applicants may be required to pay a fee or deposit, and applicants with this rating may not be approved for credit at all.




Applicants with scores in this range are considered to be subprime borrowers.




Only 8% of applicants in this score range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.


Very Good


Applicants with scores here are likely to receive better than average rates from lenders.




Applicants with scores in this range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders.

Factors That Affect Your Credit Scores

The information that impacts your credit score varies depending on the scoring model being used. According to Experian, Your credit score is generally affected by elements in your credit report, such as:

  • Payment history for loans and credit cards, including the number and severity of late payments
  • Credit utilization rate
  • Type, number and age of credit accounts
  • Total debt
  • Public records such as a bankruptcy
  • How many new credit accounts you've recently opened
  • Number of inquiries for your credit report

FICO® Score Factors:

  • Most influential: Payment history on loans and credit cards
  • Highly influential: Total debt and amounts owed
  • Moderately influential: Length of credit history
  • Less influential: New credit and credit mix (the types of accounts you have

What to Do If You Don't Have a Credit Score

In some cases, you might not have enough credit history to have a credit score. Depending on your age, there are several ways to establish credit.

If you are under 21, you must have a cosigner or be able to demonstrate you have an adequate source of income to pay back any credit extended to you. With responsible usage, a parent cosigning a credit card (or adding you as an authorized user to one of their accounts) is a great way to help establish a positive credit history.

For others, the best way to establish credit may be to work with your bank or credit union to open an account with a small credit limit to get you started.  Opening a secured credit card is another way to get started building your credit. Then, with time and good account management, a good credit history (and scores) will be within your reach. Need to establish credit? Review which credit card options may be best for your to establish new credit, according to

Looking for Credit Repair Assistance?



Get Qualified TODAY!

Valley West Mortgage 

8010 W. Sahara Avenue 

Las Vegas, NV 89117 

Anthony L. Brown, Mortgage Originator 

(702) 696-9900



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Vantage Score: Investopedia, USA Today

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