The only available EX FAKO score that is even vaguely worth a hoot is Vantage, which you can purchase directly from EX. It is also now the score included with TC. On the whole FAKO scores are misleading and the advice even more misleading. Gotta beware!
But don't forget, for anyone curious enough to pull their Vantage score(s), the score range is 501 - 990. A 700 on that range is a lot less impressive than a 700 on the FICO 300 - 850 range.
Here's a nice article discussing this: BankRate.com's VantageScore vs FICO credit score. It even has the conversion formula that sorta works for some folks. But look at the table and see how differently various items are weighted: Vantage weighs util 23% vs 15% for FICO (53% higher); Vantage weighs total balances 15% vs 30% for FICO (100% lower.)
That's why adjusting for the score range only accounts for part of the difference. The intrinsic factors that make up the scores carry different weights, so unless everything is at 0% with a squeaky clean history, you're just not going to get much of a correspondence.
And now that I look at it, that multiplier isn't right, either. The Vantage score range is narrower than FICO's, so just dividing 850 into 990 still isn't fully adjusting for the range difference.
Just general FYI for all.
(Who else remembers memorizing the formula for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit and back again for high school chemistry?? Same thing in terms of the score range, but at least temperature conversion doesn't have to account for different factors as does the Vantage/ FICO attempted conversion.)
IME Vantage and FICO do not relate very well to each other. Vantage likes you to have a mortgage and lot and lots of account/CL's - the higher the better. Like most non-FICO scores it favors the addition of accounts.
Is there any reason to consider the CL on the Orchard card for utilization purposes? If my figures are correct, the extra 500 for overall utilization would allow me some wiggle room in using my NFCU cards, while maintaining a slightly lower "overall' utilization for scoring purposes, correct?
Yes. The Orchard card helps you both with your UTIL % and the percentage of accounts reflecting a balance.
I was considering this when I asked the above question, but failed to make mention of it when I focused on the AAOA issue in my question. I am still a bit fuzzy when it comes to how FICO calculates single card utilization versus overall utilization across all accounts, and how the percentage of overall utilization is weighted against individual utilization. Gosh, I hope that makes sense!
Total UTIL and individual UTIL are both factors and both important. They both matter.