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Understanding credit scores

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number derived through a complex mathematical formula that predicts the likelihood of whether or not a consumer will fail to pay (90 days late or greater) on a credit account in the future. The credit score is generated from a variety of credit history-related elements, such as a person’s history of payment punctuality, the total amount of available credit, the total amount and type of debt, the number of open and active accounts, and the longevity of relationships with creditors. Banks, credit card companies, and other lenders use credit scores – often with other information such as income and down payment amount – to assess a borrower’s loan eligibility and set loan/credit terms.

What’s the story with the VantageScore scale?

The VantageScore 1.0 and VantageScore 2.0 models used a scale range of 501-990. The VantageScore 3.0 model uses a new scale, 300-580 – accommodating lenders’ automated systems already designed to accept credit scores in the 300-850 range, and conforming to that scale simplifies adoption and implementation of VantageScore 3.0.  Consumers are also more familiar with the 300-850 score range.

This conversion table allows easy translation between VantageScore credit scores provided by each model. Note that the conversion only works for VantageScore credit scores, not other models that use a 300-850 scale.

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