New website helps consumers crack reason codes

Date: June 22, 2020

If you think it’s hard to find meaning in a 140-character tweet, try a 77-character reason code.

A reason code is a statement, limited in length for technical reasons, that’s meant to help explain your credit score. In many cases when a credit score is used to help set credit terms, and any time a loan application is denied, federal regulations require lenders to send the applicant a letter containing the score, plus four (or sometimes five) reason codes.

Reason codes are intended to explain why a consumer did not receive a better score and to help clarify the lending process. Sometimes these codes (or a combination of them that may seem paradoxical) bring more questions than clarity. VantageScore Solutions has invested considerable effort to make reason codes clear and user-friendly in the VantageScore 3.0 model, rewriting them in plain English. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s helpful to have more than 77 characters’ worth of explanation. That’s where ReasonCode.org comes in.

As part of a relaunch of its own website, VantageScore Solutions has introduced ReasonCode.org, a microsite aimed at further explaining reason codes. Features of ReasonCode.org include a primer on what reason codes are and how they are used; a searchable reason code database with expanded explanations; a glossary of terms found in reason codes; and tips on addressing the financial issues that can lower credit scores.

The new website includes the reason codes associated with the VantageScore 3.0 model, as well as reason codes from both earlier VantageScore models.