Pennsylvania consumers should know the main differences between FICO scores and VantageCredit credit scores because a lender may pull either.

Most Pennsylvania consumers don’t know that there are hundreds of credit scoring models out there. Because of this, every individual technically has many different credit scores associated with their credit history. However, most consumers in Pennsylvania should concern themselves with just two credit scores: FICO and VantageScore. For many years, the FICO credit score has dominated the market in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. Most lenders and creditors, in fact, still use some version of the FICO score. However, FICO’s main competitor, VantageScore has gained in popularity over the past decade. Because some lenders and creditors use VantageScore credit scores for lending decisions, it’s a good idea for consumers to know the most important differences between these two scoring models.

Why Pennsylvania Consumers Usually find that their VantageScore Credit Scores and FICO Scores are Different

More often than not, when Pennsylvania consumers request free credit scores from websites like, they get VantageScore credit scores. Free FICO scores, on the other hand, are not as plentiful. You can purchase one from, or gain 24/7 access to your FICO score with a paid credit monitoring service. Of course, some banks and credit card companies offer free FICO scores to their customers as a courtesy.

Again, most lenders and creditors pull FICO scores when making lending decisions. Yet, VantageScore credit scores are important too. A good strategy for most consumers in Pennsylvania is to use their VantageScore credit score as a tool to mark credit improvement progress. Then, before applying for a loan or credit card, check your FICO score in order to view the credit score lenders typically pull.

When putting their FICO scores and VantageScore credit scores side by side, most Pennsylvanians notice that one score is higher than the other. Here are the reasons why these credit scores are usually different.

FICO and VantageScore gather data in different ways.

FICO gathers millions of consumer credit reports from three major credit bureaus all at once. The company (formerly known as the Fair Isaac Corporation) then analyzes these reports to create an accurate credit scoring model. Alternatively, VantageScore (created by the three major credit bureaus) uses a strategically combined set of consumer credit reports to create its scoring model.

The two scoring models have different scoring requirements.

In order to have a FICO score, Pennsylvania consumers need at least six months of credit history. On the other hand, because VantageScore uses alternative data in their scoring model, Pennsylvanians with only one month of credit history can pull a credit score from a VantageScore provider.

FICO and VantageScore treat late payments differently.

In calculating Pennsylvania credit scores, FICO treats all late payments the same. However, VantageScore puts significant weight on late mortgage payments. Therefore, if you have a history of late mortgage payments, your FICO score is likely higher than your VantageScore credit score.

The two credit score providers have different hard inquiry policies.

When Pennsylvania consumers apply for loans and credit cards, hard inquiries appear on their credit reports. Both FICO and VantageScore deduct credit score points for hard inquires. Yet, both credit score providers practice “deduplication” for multiple loan applications associated with one purchase. For example, if you’re looking for the best deal on a car loan, you may apply with several lenders. Luckily, FICO and VantageScore take this into consideration and lump these hard inquiries into one.

FICO gives consumers a 45-day window to “loan shop,” whereas VantageScore only allows 14 days. However, FICO only offers deduplication for mortgages, auto loans, and student loans. VantageScore, conveniently, lumps inquiries together for consumers shopping for all types of credit, including credit cards.

FICO and VantageScore treat low-balance collections differently.

Consumers in Pennsylvania with low-balance accounts ($100 or less) in debt collections should know that FICO ignores these accounts. VantageScore does not ignore low-balance collections, but it does not consider paid debt collection accounts when calculating credit scores.

Why Pennsylvania Consumers Should Protect Both their FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores by Regularly Checking their Credit Reports

Pennsylvania consumers should know that both their FICO and VantageScore credit scores can drop if they have errors on their credit reports. Unfortunately, creditors and the credit bureaus frequently mishandle and misreport consumer information. Then, this carelessness leads to credit report inaccuracies and, often, lower credit scores.

Yet, you can protect your credit scores by regularly checking your credit reports. Just go to, and request free copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles all consumers to do this every 12 months. So, all Pennsylvania residents should take advantage of their rights to annual, cost-free credit reports.

Then, while reviewing your credit reports, if you find credit score damaging errors, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Pennsylvania. Our team of credit pros will dispute your credit report inaccuracies with creditors and the credit bureaus for free. In addition, if these organizations don’t cooperate, an experienced credit attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf, and charge you nothing out of pocket.

The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit in Pennsylvania

Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (856) 912-3511 or sending him a message through our contact page.

For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit