Vantage Score, Can it Be Trusted

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The new Vantage score has been released. For the first time the "Big 3" credit bureaus collaborated to take on FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation). Is this good news?

The new Vantage Score that the “big 3” Credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) have released raises questions about how the credit bureaus do business. The concern is over how the score is calculated and the letter grade evaluation of your credit score.

“The letter grade is a step back from the FICO score system” says Kim Kellish from creditrepairplan.com. Ms. Kellish went on to say “With the FICO score you have a definite number and most creditors have a cutoff point. Many times, if you are close to the cutoff number, the lender may make an exception for your approval. How can this work if it is a letter grade, will the number portion even be shown?”

That seems to be a big concern for many people. Most individuals are only recently becoming aware of their credit score and how the widely excepted FICO score works. Now, the credit bureaus are trying to change the rules on us. With the release of the Vantage Score we, the consumers, are left in the dark as to how it is calculated and what their new score will be, at least until they tell us.

It took many years and lawsuits to get the credit bureaus and FICO to release their information to the public in the first place. Now, we have the “big 3” with their own scoring system and the only one willing to give a release date of the score to the consumer is Experian, who plans on releasing the score to the consumers sometime this summer. It appears that the Vantage Score is a complex score using a similar system as FICO, but without details it is difficult to say what the scoring factors really are.

“This new score is the last thing the credit bureaus should have been concerned about. The credit bureaus should be more concerned with providing accurate information, not worrying about new ways to earn money from their own scoring system” says Ms. Kellish. Ms. Kellish went on to say “Recent studies have shown that up to 70% of credit reports have some type of error on them. If we cannot trust the credit bureaus to maintain accurate information in the first place, how can we trust them to give us an accurate score? Where is the unbiased third party? FICO is not perfect, but we feel it is the best system out their, I mean, at least they are not owned by the credit bureaus”.

The concern many people have is the credit data business is so competitive and the credit bureaus rarely collaborate on anything together, why did they decide to collaborate on this one issue? Most of the time each one of the credit bureaus do not even carry the same information on the consumers that they monitor, if you get your credit report from each one of the bureaus many times you find different information on the same accounts.

The credit bureaus for years have made it difficult to even get your credit report, let alone fix an error on your credit report, but they make a fortune off of selling your information. Ms. Kellish went on to say “When you are not getting the little things right, how in the world are they going to get the big things right?”

Another concern Ms. Kellish has is the actual scoring range. The traditional FICO score is ranged between 350 and 850. The new Vantage Score has a range of 501 to 990. “This seems to be a big difference in the scoring systems” Ms Kellish commented. The proprietary scores that the “big 3” typically use are usually very different than the FICO score in the first place.

Ms. Kellish added “I have seen my own credit score vary from the proprietary scoring system that the credit bureaus are currently using as compared to my FICO score. The difference has been as high as 100 points difference between the credit bureaus score and the FICO score with exactly the same information on each credit report.”

Ms. Kellish explained. “The three Credit Bureaus don’t always report the same information to begin with, even on the same accounts, they often times are reported differently between the credit bureaus. If they can’t report the same information as each other, how are we supposed to trust their united effort to produce a credit score?”

Until all the information and the scores are released we just do not know what the scores or scoring system will be like. Time will tell if these scores are better or worse than the FICO scores, until then we are left guessing. “I think it is a shame that it took so long for people to become more aware of their credit reports and the information on it. My new worry is that in a day when identity theft is running ramped in our society, this new scoring system will be one more piece of information for us to keep track of and monitor.” Ms . Kellish added.

A final tip by Ms. Kellish is “Get a copy of your credit report, http://www.1800creditreport.com is a great resource for that, look for errors, again, reports show up to 70% of consumers have some kind of error on their credit report. If you have inaccurate information then get it removed.”

Kim Kellish owns http://www.creditrepairplan.com and has had many years experience in dealing with bad credit issues. The information and advice she has offered has helped countless people remove inaccurate information from their credit reports.

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Kim Kellish

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