Money Talks November 2020 | Christian Cintron

Not All Credit Scores Are Made Equally

Not All Credit Scores Are Made Equally

An arepa and a gordita look similar (not to a Venezolano or Mexicano) but they are not . 

Arepas and gorditas come from different cultures and are different to people in the know. Similarly, when you hear “credit score” you may think it’s just one score number. Like arepas and gorditas, there are two major scores.  They are similar but different. There’s your FICO Score (FICO8) and your Vantage Score (VantageScore 3.0).  

Both numbers use the same 350-850 scale. 350 being on the lower side and 850 being “the best” credit.  These credit scores help banks and creditors know that they can trust you with their money.. Are you the type to pay bills on time? Do they need higher interest rates and fees to cover the debt? 💰📈📉

Let’s look at the “ingredients” of these two scores to get a picture of how they’re different. 


To make a delicious FICO8 Score you need:

  • Payment history (35%): Do you regularly pay your bills on time? 
  • Amounts owed (30%) How much money do you owe right now? Will it keep you from paying debts back?
  • Length of credit history (15%): How long have you been borrowing money?
  • New credit (10%): Any new lines of credit you have. 
  • Credit mix (10%) : The mix of where all your debts exist. I.e. Do you have 10k on one card or 5k on a card and 5k on a loan? 


Mix those ingredients then bake at 350. Just kidding. But a tasty FICO score can help you have lower car payments or insurance. It can also get you better deals with credit cards. 


What goes into a delicious VantageScore 3.0?

  • Payment history (40%): The same as your FICO score but it’s a little higher. 
  • Depth of credit (21%) : This number comes from the creditors working with you.  
  • Utilization (20%): How much of your credit are you using?
  • Balances (11%) : How much do you owe?
  • Recent credit (5%): What are your recent credit changes?
  • Available credit (3%): What credit do you have but are not using?


On paper, these numbers can look the same. But when you hear “credit score” it’s often your VantageScore. If you’re looking to get a new apartment or a loan they likely will check your Vantage Score. Luckily, if you’re new to credit your Vantage Score can be pulled as early as one month. 


This can seem like a lot of confusing math. But you don’t have to memorize these numbers and it’s not a test. In the same way you balance the spices in your dishes you want to balance the flavors of your debt. That’s the key to cooking up a sabroso credit score. 🤑


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