What is FICO? Learn about your FICO® Score

What is FICO?

FICO, formerly known as Fair Isaac Corporation, is the company that invented FICO® Scores. Starting in the 1950s, FICO sparked a revolution in credit risk assessment by pioneering credit risk scoring for credit grantors. This new approach to measuring risk enabled banks, retailers and other businesses to improve their performance and to expand consumers’ access to credit. Today, FICO® Scores are widely recognized as the industry standard for measuring credit risk. It is important to note that while FICO works with the consumer reporting agencies to provide your FICO® Scores, it does not have access to or store any of your personal data or determine the accuracy of the information in your credit file.

What are FICO® Scores?

FICO® Scores are the most widely used credit scores. Each FICO® Score is a three-digit number calculated from the data on your credit reports at the three major consumer reporting agencies—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Your FICO® Scores predict how likely you are to pay back a credit obligation as agreed. Lenders use FICO® Scores to help them quickly, consistently and objectively evaluate potential borrowers’ credit risk.

How are FICO® Scores different?

Not all credit scores are FICO® Scores. Because FICO® Scores are the credit scores most widely used by lenders—FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top U.S. lenders — knowing your FICO® Scores is the best way to understand how potential lenders could evaluate your credit risk when you apply for a loan or credit. Other credit scores, which use scoring formulas different from FICO’s, may not give you an accurate representation of the scores your lender uses when assessing your credit profile.

What goes into FICO® Scores?

What goes into fico scores

What is a good FICO® Score?

The chart below provides a breakdown of ranges for FICO® Scores found across the U.S. consumer population. Each lender has its own credit risk standards, but this chart can serve as a general guide of what a FICO® Score represents.

Ranges of FICO® Scores
What FICO® Scores in this range mean
800 or Higher Well above the average score of U.S. consumers Demonstrates to lenders that the consumer is an exceptional borrower
740 to 799 Above the average of U.S. consumers Demonstrates to lenders that the consumer is a very dependable borrower
670 to 739 Near or slightly above the average of U.S. consumers Most lenders consider this a good score
580 to 669 Below the average of U.S. consumers Some lenders will approve loans with this score
Lower than 580 Well below the average of U.S. consumers Demonstrates to lenders that the consumer is a risky borrower

For more information about FICO® Scores, click here.

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. Banesco USA and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Banesco USA and Fair Isaac do not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history or credit rating.


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