VantageScore Credit Bureau Wins Patent For Credit Score ‘Characteristic Leveling’

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STAMFORD, Conn. – VantageScore, a credit score developed by three credit bureaus, said yesterday it was awarded a U.S. Patent for its methods and systems of “characteristic leveling.”

Characteristic leveling is a process that yields consistent and equitable characteristic definitions across multiple sources of credit data, the credit bureaus said. This process is designed to ensure that when the same data is present from multiple credit sources, for example two or more credit reporting companies, it is interpreted in the same manner.

Characteristic leveling is said to reduce the variance in definitions of the data across the three credit reporting companies used in the calculation of a VantageScore credit score, substantially increasing the likelihood that this consumer behavior data will be interpreted in the same manner, generating more consistent VantageScore credit scores across the credit companies.

Differences in credit scores are often seen when the scores are obtained simultaneously from more than one of the companies’ credit data files. One reason for this difference in scores is due to how the credit companies handle “definitions” of the consumer behavior characteristics housed within their databases. For example, one company may define a bank card as a revolving card while another company may include both revolving cards and secured cards in their definition.

VantageScore was developed in a partnership between Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to compete with the more widely used FICO score.


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