Fair Isaac Corporation, also known as FICO, is an analytical software company that offers credit reports to individual consumers as well as businesses. It generates the FICO score, which ranges between 300 and 850. A credit score between 670 to 739 is considered to be a ‘good’ FICO score.
Lenders check the FICO score to assess a borrower’s credit history and decide whether or not to lend money. Fair Isaac considers several factors to calculate the FICO score, namely payment history, credit history length, current outstanding debt, types of credit availed, and new credit accounts. Thus, the FICO score plays an important role in the assessment of credit risks.
FICO score has different categories for different individuals, which comes with a varied range of weightage. On the basis of these weightages as well as categories, FICO scores are determined. Generally, payment history is roughly 35% of the credit score, the length of the credit history tends to be 15%, 10% is the new credit, and so is the credit mix. The accounts owed amount is usually a total of 30%.
You can access the FICO score through the company’s official website. However, you have to pay a fee to access the report as the corporation only offers a paid version.
FICO score payment history is a record of whether or not an individual is paying the credit accounts within the fixed time. These reports show in detail the payments that are submitted for every line of credit. The payment history also notes details of bankruptcy, late payments as well as missed payments.
It means the total amount that a person owes. However, it is important to note that a large amount of debt cannot be equated to a low FICO score. In case of FICO, interestingly, the availability of credit is equated to the ratio of owed money.
The credit score of any and all individuals depends on the span of time that they have had credit. However, there are cases or instances where an individual with a very short credit history has also had a very good credit score. FICO particularly focuses on the credit history length while setting the FICO credit score of individuals. It takes into account the tenure of the oldest of all accounts, and the tenure of the most recent, while calculating an overall average.
The varied range of accounts is called the credit mix. An individual requires a heavy mix of varied retail accounts and credit cards along with signature loans, mortgages or any kind of vehicle loan in order to obtain higher levels of FICO credit score.
A new credit is nothing but the accounts that have been opened recently. The FICO score of an individual would be lowered if they have opened multiple new accounts within a very short span of time.
There are different versions of FICO. The various versions have come to exist due to the periodic updates of calculation methods in the FICO company. It has updated its methods since the first method of scoring that was introduced in the year 1989.
It must be noted that there are dozens of FICO® scores, but, all of them fall under two categories in general. They are as follows:
The Base FICO® scores (the widely used one)
FICO® scores that are specific to industries (These are tailored to certain credit products, such as home loans or credit cards)
Additionally, FICO also releases new credit score versions frequently. The same is meant to be an improvement over the iteration that came before it, consequently creating a score that is more predictive and reliable in nature for vendors. As a result of the same, it is possible that one may find several versions of each scoring model, but, the lenders do have the option of sticking to any of the previous versions of the same if they prefer that instead.
The base FICO® score itself has several versions which have been created with the purpose of them working seamlessly with three major credit bureaus, namely Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The most recent iteration of the same is the FICO® Score 9.
Scores that are industry-specific can be the likes of the FICO® Auto Score and the FICO® Bankcard Score. However, one must also keep in mind that there are multiple versions and editions of these as well.
Given the fact that multiple versions of the same exist, one must consider contacting a particular creditor and inquire regarding the credit-scoring model it is using currently in order to evaluate its applicants.
Even if the borrower is unable to do so, it is hardly a problem as scoring criteria are very similar for most of the FICO® credit scores. It is due to this reason that if even one of your FICO® scores is in the range of “very good”, it is highly possible that the same will be the case for your other FICO® Credit Scores.
FICO Score 8 is the most popular version of FICO that is used. FICO states that FICO Score 8 is a system that is similar to every previously made version, and has added features which make it a much better and predictive scoring version that the rest.
The FICO Score 8 is basically similar to every other system, and tries to portray the responsibility and effectiveness of different individual borrowers in terms of their interaction with the debt.
FICO credit score becomes important while applying for a personal loan. So, do make it a point to keep a check on your FICO credit score.
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