Why are the credit bureau scores rated on a different scale then FICO?

I received my 3 credit scores which all show as based on a scale of 501-990. My score is in the high 700 range, but they all rate me as a "C". Is my FICO score different from these, I was under the impression that high 700s was a good score, but based on these I'm not doing so well. I've always had good credit and never had major issues I checked because I'm going to be paying off debt and want to see how much my scores improve. Should I pay for a FICO score as well, or are these three a good idea of what my score will be?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This should help you to understand how credit scores work..

    FICO scores from 300 to 850 and Vantage scores from 501 to 990.

    Here is the breakdown for both systems.

    Vantage Plus system scores from 501-990.






    FICO system scores from 300-850.

    Elite-740-& up




    Sub-prime-624-& under

    FICO is the only one that matters since it's the one that all major lenders look at.

    So as you can see it depends on if your looking at a true FICO score or a Vantage plus score.

    As far as what makes up credit scores it's the following;

    1. Payment history (longer the better) 35%

    2. Time in bureau (longer the better) 15%

    3. Types of credit (mix of credit cards & installment loans) 10%

    4. New credit (new accounts and inquiries) 10%

    5. Debt to credit ratio (lower the better) 30%

    And just so you will know Experian only uses Vantage, Equifax only uses FICO and Transunion uses both depending of which type of credit report is requested of which there are 3. The standard that people get from the Internet, the auto enhanced which only car dealers and lenders see and the factual which only mortgage people see. The last two are not available to the general public.

    To have the very best score and profile people need 3-4 credit card accounts (revolving) with balances below 30% of their credit limits and 2 cars, homes, boats, motorcycles, computers, furniture or personal accounts (installment) all with good long payment history's.

    Add to this that unless you get your scores either direct from either Equifax or myfico.com your getting what's called a FAKO score which makes it even worse because they all have their own system to calculate scores.

    Source(s): Finance Manager for over 11-years, 2010 edition Consumer Action Handbook.
  • 1 decade ago

    FICO is owned by Fair Issac and the credit bureaus haven't licensed their private methods.

    Source(s): retired banker
  • 1 decade ago

    SPIFIMAN gave a great answer. About the only other option I would add is that you might consider a free consultation with a credit expert. Lots of sites offer them (usually because they try to sell you stuff) but I've linked one site below.

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