Published on January 25, 2021
The Switch to VantageScore® 3.0
Understanding your credit score and the purchasing power that comes with using credit wisely is vital for all consumers. Excellent credit opens a world of low-interest possibilities, while low credit can leave you on the outside looking in.
Let’s talk about your credit score
Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Higher scores mean more access to financing options and better rates when you use them, while a low score can keep you from securing any credit, that includes everything from a store credit card to an auto loan to a mortgage. For more on credit scores, including tips on how to raise them, visit this companion blog on our site.
We’ve switched to VantageScore® 3.0
On Jan. 1, Community Choice switched from using FICO® to VantageScore to determine credit worthiness. We made the switch for a number of reasons, one of the most important was the more consistent score members will receive, as VantageScore uses a collaboration of all three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Why we switched
1. It is a member-friendly model because it views paid collection accounts more favorably than FICO and places less weight on medical collections. It also doesn’t penalize savvy consumers for multiple credit inquiries while shopping for major purchases like a new car.
2. For the credit union, the switch is beneficial because it provides a better understanding of a consumer’s current financial behavior.
3. This new system also allows Community Choice to analyze the behavior of consumers with a shorter credit history, which equates to 35 million more credit-worthy consumers being eligible for credit, including those with new or no credit history
Here’s a look at how VantageScore views consumer behavior.
As the chart indicates, paying your bills on time is the most important factor in your credit score, coming in at 40% or “extremely important,” Which is great news because that’s something you can easily control.
“Highly influential” factors include:
- Percentage of credit used - Keep revolving credit balance low, below 30% of your available credit.
- Age and type of credit – a mix of credit, such as credit cards, a mortgage, and an auto loan are good for your score. Again, with an understanding of how credit works, these are things you can manage.
Less important to VantageScore are things like, “recent credit inquiries” and “available credit” (applying for too much credit).
For a complete view of all the factors that impact your VantageScore, click here.
Looking for your VantageScore? Here’s where you’ll find it:
- Choice Checking members can review their credit score and get helpful tips in the Club Checking mobile app.
- e-Banking users can check “My Special Offers” to see what loans they are pre-qualified for and see their credit score and estimated rates.
- Any member who applies for a loan through any channel will receive their score and additional resources.
- Visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
For additional information or assistance managing your credit, speak with one of our personal advisors. You can make an appointment, call us at 877.243.2528, or stop by any of our member centers.