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FICO Score is a credit score developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation, widely used by lenders to assess an individual's creditworthiness. It is a numeric representation ranging from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better credit health. Factors like payment history, credit utilisation, length of credit history, types of credit, and new credit can influence this score. Lenders rely on this score to make informed decisions on loan approvals and interest rates. 

FICO Score Ranges

Different scores fall under different ranges with specific ratings. Go through the following table to understand what your score and rating signifies to lenders:

Score

Rating

<580

Poor

580-669

Fair

670- 739

Good

739-799

Very good

800+

Exceptional

Types of FICO Scores

To integrate seamlessly with the three main credit agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, the Scores offered by FICO too has numerous variations: 

  • FICO Score 8

This is the most commonly used model, ranging from 300-850, and is used in over 90% of lending decisions

  • FICO Auto Score

This specific model, ranging from 250-900, is used for auto loans; it factors in auto loan payment history and tends to be more predictive for auto credit 

  • FICO Bankcard Score

This ranges from 250-900, focuses specifically on credit card lending and approvals, and is used by credit card issuers 

  • FICO Mortgage Score

This factors mortgage payments and is used for mortgage lending, home equity loans and refinancing decisions 

  • Other scores 

Industry-specific scores are used for credit/loan decisions in areas like equity loans, instalment loans, etc., and have score ranges tailored to loan types

 

Additionally, each of the industry-specific scores by FICO (Auto, Bankcard and Mortgage) come in different model versions just like FICO 8. Common ones used are FICO Auto Score 8, FICO Bankcard Score 8 and FICO Mortgage Score 5. 

 

While the classic FICO Score 8 is most widely used, auto lenders, credit card companies, and mortgage providers may use industry-specific FICO models aligned better to predict risks in their lending verticals. 

How Does FICO Calculate Credit Score?

FICO divides its scoring criteria into five areas, assigning a percentage score depending on the weightage of each category; however, weightage might vary from person to person: 

Influencing Factors

Percentage (%)

Payment history

35

Amount owed

30

Length of credit history

15

Credit mix

10

New credit

10

Benefits and Importance of Your FICO Score

It’s important to understand the features of a FICO Score as it has the following benefits: 

  • Universal Credit Assessment 

These scores are widely utilised by various creditors to evaluate loan or credit card applications

  • Credit Management Snapshot 

They provide a snapshot of your past credit management behaviour, aiding lenders in assessing your creditworthiness

  • Access to Better Options 

A good, very good, or exceptional credit score opens doors to more options and lower interest rates

  • Impact on Utilities and Renting 

Utility providers and landlords may consider your credit score when determining deposit amounts or rental eligibility

  • Improved Loan Terms 

Higher credit scores increase the likelihood of securing loans with favourable rates and terms, improving overall borrowing conditions

  • Insurance Premiums 

Lower scores may result in higher premium rates from insurance companies, impacting overall financial costs

  • Informed Borrowing 

Periodically checking your credit score helps you gauge the likelihood of favourable loan conditions and increased approval chances 

What Affects Your FICO Scores?

Several key factors are taken into account when calculating your FICO Score: 

  • Payment history

Your credit account payments, both on time and late, as well as any public records of non-payment like bankruptcy, are taken into account while calculating your payment history 

  • Accounts owed

This includes how much credit you have accessible to you, what you owe on credit accounts like cards and instalment loans, and how much of that credit you are utilising 

  • Credit history duration 

This includes the age of your accounts, duration of access to your newest and oldest accounts, the average age of all your accounts, and the last time you used each account

  • Credit mix

The kinds of accounts you hold, i.e., loans or credit card accounts, are included in your credit mix and help determine your score

  • New credit

Your credit scores might be impacted by recent account openings and new credit queries 

How to Improve Your FICO Score?

Try to follow the tips given below to enhance your FICO Score: 

  • Credit Report Review 

Review your credit report, acting as a roadmap to enhance your score 

  • Error Identification 

Scrutinise reports from all three credit bureaus for errors and address them promptly by contacting the bureau and your lender 

  • Timely Payments 

Ensure timely payments on credit cards and loans to maintain a good score 

  • Address Late Payments 

Avoid late payments of 30 days or more, as they can negatively affect your credit score 

  • Credit Utilisation Management 

Maintaining a lower credit utilisation ratio by responsibly using available credit, can make you more appealing to lenders 

FAQs on FICO Score

How often does the FICO score get updated?

FICO’s credit score is usually updated every time there is any change in your credit profile. Most banks and financial institutions offer monthly reports on their clients, and your score is modified if any transaction parameter changes during that month. 

Is the FICO Score the same as a credit score?

The score offered by FICO is just one kind of credit score. You have a variety of credit ratings from several credit agencies and credit programmes.

What is a good FICO Score?

FICO Scores between 670-739 are generally considered good scores. Any score above this is considered very good or exceptional.

Why is my FICO Score less than my credit score?

Credit scores can be broadly categorised into two groups: FICO® Ratings and VantageScores. The FICO Score may differ from or be lower than the non-FICO credit ratings and can range between 300 to 850. 

 

Moreover, each bureau generates scores using algorithms that are distinct from those used by FICO. Lenders might also evaluate your creditworthiness using other credit scoring models like FICO Models 4 or 5.

How will FICO Scores affect my loan application?

You can get better terms on a credit card or a loan, as well as a cheaper interest rate on your present accounts, with a high FICO Score. Conversely, a poor score will have the exact opposite effect.

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