Credit Scores Galore: Dissecting All the Different Models


There’s so much to know about credit, but most consumers are only concerned about their three-digit score. And for a valid reason; the lower the score, the more difficult it is to qualify for the most competitive loan products.


We’ve seen many different credit monitoring services offer different types of scores, but how do you know which one to use? What does it all mean?

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of credit scoring models, along with alternatives for those who do not have a traditional credit score.

FICO Score 8 

The original FICO score was developed by the Fair Issac Credit Corporation and introduced to the public in 1989. It is used by 90 percent of creditors to make lending decisions, making it the most popular scoring model on the market.

Scores range from 300 to 850, and the three credit bureaus use a unique algorithm to generate your score. The following components are included in your FICO score:

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  • Payment History (35%)
  • Amounts Owed (30%)
  • Length of Credit History (15%)
  • New Credit (10%)
  • Types of Credit (10%)

Variations of the FICO score are also used in auto lending, credit card and mortgage lending decisions. To access your FICO score free of charge, visit

VantageScore 3.0 

This credit scoring model, which was introduced in March 2006, is ideal for individuals who are unable to retrieve their score under the traditional FICO model. According to the website, approximately 30 to 35 million more consumers have been able to receive credit scores.

Scores range from 300 to 850, with a focus on consistency across the three credit bureaus, and consumers are also granted a letter grade that reflects their creditworthiness.

This scoring model considers the following factors:

  • Payment history- Extremely influential
  • Age and type of credit, Percentage of credit limit used- Highly influential
  • Total balances/debt- Moderately influential
  • Recent credit behavior and inquiries, Available credit- Less influential

The VantageScore 3.0 currently serves the Bankcard, Real Estate and Auto industry.

Another major benefit: the omission of collection accounts that have been settled or paid in full. This is a big deal for consumers who are trying to get back on track, but continue to be plagued by negative marks that affect their FICO score for at least 7 years.

You can access your free VantageScore 3.0 through, Credit Karma, Lending Tree and Quizzle.


Under this model, consumers are scored based on factors not considered by traditional credit scoring models. These include, but are not limited to, payment history from cable, insurance, rent utility and cell phone providers. It is ideal for credit newbies and those with less than stellar credit.

In lieu of a three-digit score, consumers receive a letter grade to help lenders gauge their creditworthiness. Most importantly, the credit grade and accompanying report only includes account information that you want creditors to see.

To receive your eCredable score, you will need to enter the account information and verify the data so the accuracy of the information can be confirmed. And if you’d like to take a peek at what your rating may be under this credit scoring model before subscribing, there is an Estimator tool on the website to help you do so.

Happy Mango

With the “humanization of credit” at the forefront of their mission, Happy Mango is a simplified credit scoring model that helps you track your financial health, improve your credit rating and access loan products. Information for your credit profile is extracted from transaction data found in your financial accounts. It is geared towards consumers who may be new to the credit world, but are able to effectively manage their finances and cash flow.

You can access your Happy Mango Score by visiting their website and creating a profile.

Evaluating Credit Scoring Models

Prior to using any of these models to gauge your credit rating, check the entity’s reputation with the Better Business Bureaus to confirm they are reputable. If they’ve received a poor rating, that’s your queue to move on.

Finally, keep in mind that select lenders and insurers may determine your creditworthiness using the contents of your credit profile, and not your. Therefore, it’s imperative to practice sound debt-management. This includes, but is not limited to only borrowing as much as you can afford to repay and making timely payments each month. And don’t forget to routinely check your credit report to confirm the accuracy of the information listed.


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