Why is my fico score lower than my credit score?

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When it comes to credit scores, two commonly used scoring models are FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) and VantageScore. These scores are designed to assess an individual’s creditworthiness and are used by lenders to determine the risk involved in extending credit. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to find that their FICO score is lower than their credit score, leaving them wondering why this discrepancy exists. In this article, we will explore some possible reasons for this difference and shed light on the factors that contribute to it.

Understanding FICO and Credit Scores

Before delving into the reasons behind the lower FICO score, it is essential to understand the difference between FICO and credit scores. FICO scores are widely used by lenders and are based on a formula developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. On the other hand, credit scores, such as VantageScore, are developed by credit bureaus and use different algorithms to calculate an individual’s creditworthiness.

Different Scoring Models

One of the primary reasons for the discrepancy between FICO and credit scores is the use of different scoring models. While both scores aim to assess creditworthiness, they may weigh factors differently, resulting in variations in the final score. FICO scores, for instance, consider factors such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit used, and new credit applications. VantageScore, on the other hand, may place more emphasis on different factors or use alternative data sources.

Scoring Range Differences

Another factor contributing to the lower FICO score is the difference in scoring ranges. FICO scores typically range from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. VantageScore, on the other hand, may use a different scoring range, such as 501 to 990 or 300 to 850. This variation in scoring ranges can result in different numerical values for the same level of creditworthiness, leading to a lower FICO score compared to the credit score.

Data Reporting Differences

In addition to scoring model variations, differences in data reporting can also contribute to the lower FICO score. Credit scores are based on the information provided by credit bureaus, and these bureaus may not always have the same data. Lenders may report information to one bureau but not to others, resulting in variations in the data used to calculate the scores. As a result, the FICO score may be affected by the absence of certain data points, leading to a lower score compared to the credit score.


In conclusion, the discrepancy between FICO and credit scores can be attributed to several factors. Differences in scoring models, scoring range variations, and data reporting inconsistencies can all contribute to a lower FICO score compared to the credit score. It is important to understand that these scores are just tools used by lenders to assess creditworthiness, and the specific score itself may not be as important as the overall credit profile. Regularly monitoring credit reports, maintaining good credit habits, and addressing any errors or discrepancies can help individuals improve their creditworthiness regardless of the scoring model used.


– Experian: www.experian.com
– Equifax: www.equifax.com
– TransUnion: www.transunion.com
– Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO): www.fico.com
– VantageScore: www.vantagescore.com