If you know much about credit scores, you are probably familiar with the FICO score. It is the credit score lenders use more than any other, and there are many ways to get it for free.
But another credit score — the VantageScore — is less well-known.
As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson explains in “What’s the Difference Between FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores?“:
“In 2006, the three major credit-reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — got together and launched the VantageScore. They began providing their new score to websites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and NerdWallet, and those sites began giving it away free to attract subscribers.”
Today, you can select among 11 companies that will provide your VantageScore without asking you to pay for the privilege. To get your gratis score this way, simply stop by the official VantageScore site and look over the list of these companies.
They currently include:
- Credit Karma
- Credit Sesame
- The Credit Wise program from Capital One
Some of these companies offer more VantageScore-related perks than others, so read through the list at the VantageScore website to find the right choice for you.
If you are a customer of one of four certain lenders, you also might have the option to get a free VantageScore through the lender.
They currently include:
- Capital One
- JPMorgan Chase
- OneMain Financial
- U.S. Bank
Why you need to check your score
A healthy credit score is crucial if you hope to land the best terms on a mortgage or auto loan. A bad credit score might even prevent you from landing a job, as we note in “8 Types of Companies That Are Looking at Your Credit Report.”
So, it can make sense to use these free offers to check your VantageScore. Just remember to also check your FICO score, as this score carries more weight with a greater number of lenders.
In fact, as Stacy has pointed out, FICO clients include 95 of the 100 largest financial institutions in the U.S., and all the 100 largest U.S. credit card issuers. He goes on to say:
“While there are subtle differences between FICO and VantageScore credit scores, the real difference is that the FICO score is the one most lenders use. Just keeping an eye on your credit? The VantageScore is fine. But if you’re about to borrow big, I’d recommend tracking your FICO score.”
Hoping to improve your credit score? Check out “7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast.”