VantageScore 3.0, with scores ranging from 300 to 850, is a user-friendly credit score model developed by the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies, Experian®, TransUnion®, and Equifax®. VantageScore 3.0 is used by some but not all lenders. Higher scores represent a greater likelihood that you'll pay back your debts so you are viewed as being a lower credit risk to lenders. A lower score indicates to lenders that you may be a higher credit risk.
There are three different major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax that maintain a record of your credit history known as your credit file. Credit scores are based on the information in your credit file at the time it is requested. Your credit file information can vary from agency to agency because some lenders report your credit history to only one or two of the agencies. So your credit scores can vary if the information they have on file for you is different. Since the information in your file can change over time, your credit scores also may be different from day-to-day. Different credit scoring models can also give a different assessment of the credit risk (risk of default) for the same consumer and same credit file.
There are different credit scoring models which may be used by lenders and insurers. Your lender may not use VantageScore 3.0, so don't be surprised if your lender gives you a score that's different from your VantageScore. (And your VantageScore 3.0 may differ from your score under other types of VantageScores). Just remember that your associated risk level is often the same even if the number is not. For some consumers, however, the risk assessment of VantageScore 3.0 could vary, sometimes substantially, from a lender’s score. If the lender's score is lower than your VantageScore 3.0, it is possible that this difference can lead to higher interest rates and sometimes credit denial.
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