Three consumer credit reporting agencies announced that they have created a new credit scoring system to simplify the loan process for lenders and borrowers.

The Equifax, Experian and TransUnion agencies said their new VantageScore system has grown out of the market's demand for a more objective approach to scoring. Agencies have each used their own formulas to create scores in the past.

In a statement, the agencies said VantageScore "will provide consumers and businesses with a highly predictive, consistent score that is easy to understand and apply."

The new scores, will range from 501 to 990, are already available to financial institutions and will be rolled out for consumers later in the year. Experian said the new scores will be grouped on the familiar academic scale, with an "A" being given to scores in the 901 to 990 range and an "F" being given to scores in the 501 to 600 range.

VantageScore is being independently marketed and sold separately through each of the three national credit reporting companies via licensing agreements with VantageScore Solutions LLC, which is jointly owned by the three credit bureaus. An informational Web site can be accessed at www.vantagescore.com.

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