Is a Vantage Score Good Enough?

Fake soft drinks?

I don’t care much about my credit score as long as I still get the best rates when I borrow. In previous posts I showed you don’t need a top score to get the best rate.

I don’t buy credit scores. My bank Alliant Credit Union shows me a VantageScore by Experian every quarter for free. Credit score aficionados deride it as a FAKO score, as in a fake FICO score, because it’s not a FICO score, which is the score most lenders use. You know what, a FAKO score is good enough for me.

Because they give me the score for free, I sometimes look at it. I’m surprised to see a big jump in Q3 last year.

VantageScores go by a scale from 501 to 990, versus the 350-850 scale for FICO scores.

A – 900-990 Higher than 84% of U.S. Consumers.

B – 800-899 Higher than 64% of U.S. Consumers.

C – 700-799 Higher than 44% of U.S. Consumers.

D – 600-699 Higher than 19% of U.S. Consumers.

F – 501-599 Lowest 19% of U.S. Consumers.

I just got upgraded from a C to a B. I’m OK with that.

What happened that caused the jump? As far as I can tell, nothing. During that time, I applied for a new credit card and I opened several new bank accounts. They all must have generated "hard pulls" which were supposed to lower my credit score. The actual result? A big jump in the score.

I don’t know why people keep worrying about how doing X, Y, or Z will affect their credit score. Live your life the way you want to live it. If there is a better credit card, get it. If a bank offers a better rate, move your money. If you just live normally, your credit score will be just fine.

If you’d like to keep an eye on your credit score but your bank doesn’t show it to you, you can use a free service such as Credit Sesame. It will show you a credit score, not a real FICO score, but it will be good enough.

[Photo credit: Flickr user shortie66]

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