What is the Fico Score? Know all about it (2023)

What is a FICO Score?

You may have heard the term "FICO score" if you've tried itapply for a credit card, vehicle loan, mortgage or other type of loan. The FICO score is a three-digit number from 300 to 850 (can be as high as 900 in some industries). Creditors can use this score to determine how likely you are to pay back your debts, largely based on your credit reports. Credit reports are statements from consumer credit reporting agencies that explain your credit activity and current creditworthiness.

FICO scores are made by Fair Isaac Corp. based on different scoring methods. There are several variations on these results. FICO scores help potential lenders analyze the information on your credit report to assess how likely you are to pay your debts on time. Lenders often use FICO scores when deciding whether to offer credit to a customer.

Types of FICO Scores

FICO offers more than a handfulcreditworthinessvariations, divided into two broad categories of key results and sector-specific assessments. From time to time, FICO also releases updated versions of its credit score that are designed to build on the previous edition and give lenders a score that is more accurate and credible. As a result, there can be numerous iterations of each scoring model, although lenders are free to continue with an earlier iteration if they wish.

Intended to integrate seamlessly with the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, the basic FICO score also has numerous variations. FICO Score 9 is the latest version of it. Scores such as the FICO Bankcard Score and the FICO Auto Score are examples of industry-specific scores.

  • Basic results

Baseline scores are commonly used scores that let creditors know if you're likely to pay back debt, including credit card or loan payments.

  • Industry specific results

These results are specific to certain sectors and are tailored to specific credit products such as home loans or credit cards. These industry-specific scores show your chances of paying back a given loan.

How to Check Your FICO Score Online?

Many card issuers offer open access to their customers' credit scores. Usually, you must be the primary account holder on a consumer card to access your free FICO score. You can view your free FICO credit score on the online portal once you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, you can view your FICO score on the company's main website. A premium version of the report is also available for which you have to pay a fee.

The steps required to check your results are:

  • Step 1: Go to the correct website

Choosing whether to check your credit score, credit report, or both is the first step.

You can check your balance for free by logging into your account online with many credit card companies. Anyone can get a free FICO® score from Discover; you don't have to be a customer.

  • Step 2: Get your score or report.

You must actually request your report or score once you are on a website that allows you to check your credit.

You can usually start the process of checking your credit score by clicking the "View your score" button. However, you must select which report to view if you want to view your credit report.

  • 3rd step: Enter the desired information.

The website you are visiting will ask you for personally identifiable information to get your report or score. This will include your full name, date of birth, current address, and any previous addresses you've used in the past two years.

  • Step 4: Check your score or report carefully.

You can see your report or credit score after you prove your identification. Be sure to take a close look at all of them.

How Does FICO Calculate a Credit Score?

Consumer credit reports contain information that determines your FICO credit scores, and different types of information can raise or lower your scores. For example, paying your bills on time can improve your grades, while paying them late can lower them.

FICO divides its scoring criteria into five areas, awarding a percentage of points based on the weight of each category, but the weight may vary from person to person.

A factor that affects the FICO score

percentage (%)

Payment history


Amount of debt


Length of credit history


A combination of loans


New loan


FICO scores

Now that you understand what your FICO score consists of, what is a good FICO score?





580-669 (display, andere).

Just now

670-739 (view, professional).


739-799 (sight, other).

Very good



You are considered a risky or unreliable borrower if your FICO score falls into the "poor" category. But as it gets into the "fair" category, many lenders will start giving you credit. Being in the "good" category is really beneficial to you as a borrower because most lenders consider you a good borrower. Moving into the "very good" category will make you a reliable borrower in the eyes of creditors. If your score eventually reaches the "exceptional" category, lenders will begin to see you as a very safe and exceptional borrower.

The benefits and importance of your FICO score

FICO scores are commonly used by many different types of lenders when deciding whether to accept a loan or notcredit cardapplication. This gives them a picture of your former credit management style. To determine whether you have the means to pay them back, they also look at other information, such as your past income and debts.

You may have more options and access to lower interest rates if your credit falls into the above categories of good, very good or exceptional. Utilities and/or landlords may base the amount of your security deposit or acceptance as a tenant on your creditworthiness.

Your chances of getting a loan with favorable rates and conditions increase as your credit rating increases. If you get lower scores, your loan applications may be approved on worse terms than if you had better scores. Higher premium rates for insurance companies can also result for borrowers with a poorer record. By checking your scores, you can determine whether the lender will give you favorable terms and the possibility of your application being approved.

What Affects Your FICO Scores?

There are 5 main factors that affect your FICO score:

  • Payment history: One of the most important aspects when calculating your grades is your track record of paying on time. Payments to your credit account, both on time and late, as well as public records of defaults, such as bankruptcy, are recorded in your payment history.
  • creditors: How much credit you have available, what you owe on credit accounts such as cards and installment loans, and how much of that credit you actually use.

  • Duration of credit history: The age of your accounts, how long you've had access to your newest and oldest accounts, the average age of all your accounts, and when you last used certain accounts.

  • A combination of loans: The types of accounts you have, such as home loans, home loans, and credit card accounts, are included in your credit mix. Although not important, it is still taken into account when calculating your grades.

  • New loanYour FICO scores may be affected by recent account openings and new credit applications.

How can you improve your FICO score?

Reviewing your credit report should be the first step to improving your FICO score. It helps you chart a course for changes that can help improve your score. Your credit record serves as your GPS when it comes to credit scores. Carefully review the credit report from each of the three credit reporting organizations for any errors. Reach outcredit bureauand your lender to raise concerns about incorrect or missing information. Read on to learn more about disputing inaccuracies in your credit report. Correcting errors in your credit history can help improve your FICO score.

Second, your payment history is one of the most important elements used to calculate your FICO score. Your FICO score can improve simply by making credit card and loan payments on time, and your FICO score can be negatively impacted by paying 30 days or more late.

In addition, the amount of credit you use as a percentage of the total credit you have access to is an important component in determining your FICO score. Because it shows that you are not overextended and are more inclined to use credit responsibly. Lower credit utilization often makes you more attractive to lenders.

Latest news

FICO gives lenders access to a financial inclusion lab to expand credit decisions

FICO, the leading global analytics software company, announced on May 10, 2023 the launch of its Inclusion Accelerator Program and Financial Inclusion Lab. The goal of the program is to promote adoption of alternative data solutions for lenders by developing a lender incubator to test new credit decision tools.

As part of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative, the program is seen as a catalyst to help the lending community drive wider adoption of alternatives and promote a more inclusive lending system rooted in affordability. It was also announced that lenders participating in the accelerator or inclusion lab will have access to the tools and technology. This would further enable them to improve their lending decisions and support financial inclusion initiatives.

- 11 mei 2023


What is the Fico Score? Know all about it? ›

A FICO® score is a particular brand of credit score. A credit score is a number that is used to predict how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. Credit scores are used by companies to make decisions such as whether to offer you a mortgage or a credit card.

What does your FICO score determine? ›

FICO scores use information in your credit report to help determine your likelihood of paying bills on time. Lenders often use FICO scores to help decide if they will extend credit to consumers. FICO scores, as well as credit scores other companies calculate using different models, can predict similar types of risk.

What is FICO score for dummies? ›

Your FICO score is a number typically on a 300-850 range used by lenders to determine your ability to pay back borrowed debt. A score of 690-719 is generally considered good credit. There are 5 main factors that impact your FICO score calculation; payment history and amounts owed hold the most sway.

What 5 things does a FICO score measure? ›

FICO Scores are calculated using many different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and credit mix (10%).

Is there a difference between FICO score and credit score? ›

Is "credit score" the same as "FICO® score"? Basically, "credit score" and "FICO® score" are all referring to the same thing. A FICO® score is a type of credit scoring model. While different reporting agencies may weigh factors slightly differently, they are all essentially measuring the same thing.

What is a good FICO score to buy a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.

What is the most important FICO score? ›

FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top lenders, but even so, there's no single credit score or scoring system that's most important. In a very real way, the score that matters most is the one used by the lender willing to offer you the best lending terms.

What FICO is considered good credit? ›

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.

What is a FICO score of 4? ›

What is FICO 8 and Who Uses It?
FICO ModelDescription
FICO 8Most common. Used for Auto and Bankcard lending.
FICO 5Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from Equifax.
FICO 4Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from TransUnion.
FICO 2Used by mortgage lenders. Built on data from Experian.
1 more row
Jan 23, 2023

What's the difference between FICO and Credit Karma? ›

FICO is a model used to create a score by looking at your files from the three major credit reporting bureaus. Credit Karma's VantageScore follows much the same process, except that its scoring model was actually created by the credit bureaus.

What 3 things are not included in FICO score? ›

FICO scores consider a wide range of information on your credit report. However, they do not consider: Your race, color, religion, national origin, sex and marital status.

What are the two biggest parts of your FICO score? ›

The most important factor of your FICO® Score , used by 90% of top lenders, is your payment history, or how you've managed your credit accounts. Close behind is the amounts owed—and more specifically how much of your available credit you're using—on your credit accounts.

Why is my FICO score higher than my credit score? ›

Why is my FICO® score different from my credit score? Your FICO Score is a credit score. But if your FICO score is different from another of your credit scores, it may be that the score you're viewing was calculated using one of the other scoring models that exist.

Which score is more accurate FICO or Experian? ›

Experian's advantage over FICO is that the information it provides is far more detailed and thorough than a simple number. A pair of borrowers could both have 700 FICO Scores but vastly different credit histories.

How accurate is Credit Karma? ›

Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.

Which FICO score do lenders use? ›

While most lenders use the FICO Score 8, mortgage lenders use the following scores: Experian: FICO Score 2, or Fair Isaac Risk Model v2. Equifax: FICO Score 5, or Equifax Beacon 5. TransUnion: FICO Score 4, or TransUnion FICO Risk Score 04.

What credit score is needed for a 300k house? ›

Additionally, you'll need to maintain an “acceptable” credit history. Some mortgage lenders are happy with a credit score of 580, but many prefer 620-660 or higher.

What is the lowest FICO score to get a mortgage? ›

Generally speaking, you'll need a credit score of at least 620 in order to secure a loan to buy a house. That's the minimum credit score requirement most lenders have for a conventional loan. With that said, it's still possible to get a loan with a lower credit score, including a score in the 500s.

What is the most common FICO score used for mortgage? ›

The most commonly used FICO Score in the mortgage-lending industry is the FICO Score 5. According to FICO, the majority of lenders pull credit histories from all three major credit reporting agencies as they evaluate mortgage applications. Mortgage lenders may also use FICO Score 2 or FICO Score 4 in their decisions.

Which credit score is the hardest? ›

Here are FICO's basic credit score ranges:
  • Exceptional Credit: 800 to 850.
  • Very Good Credit: 740 to 799.
  • Good Credit: 670 to 739.
  • Fair Credit: 580 to 669.
  • Poor Credit: Under 580.
May 14, 2023

Does your income directly affect your FICO score? ›

How does my income affect my credit score? Your income doesn't directly impact your credit score, though how much money you make affects your ability to pay off credit card debt, which in turn affects your credit score.

What does a FICO score of 8 mean? ›

The FICO Bankcard Score 8 is a FICO® Score that's created specifically for credit card issuers to help them understand the likelihood that a borrower will be 90 or more days late on a credit card payment in the next 24 months.

What increases your credit score? ›

Factors that contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of different credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.

What are three ways you can boost your credit score? ›

But here are some things to consider that can help almost anyone boost their credit score:
  • Review your credit reports. ...
  • Pay on time. ...
  • Keep your credit utilization rate low. ...
  • Limit applying for new accounts. ...
  • Keep old accounts open.

At what point does credit score not matter? ›

If you have a FICO credit score over 800, your credit is considered exceptional—and according to Experian, 21 percent of consumers have credit scores in the 800 to 850 range. While getting an 850 credit score is difficult, a score above 800 seems like a more achievable goal.

What is the lowest FICO score? ›

Most of the credit scores that lenders use in the United States, including most versions of the FICO Score, range from 300 to 850. Therefore, most financial professionals generally accept that 300 is the lowest credit score a consumer can have.

Which credit score is used to buy a car? ›

The FICO score is the most widely used score for auto loans. The score ranges from 300 to 850. The score is calculated based on credit mix, payment history, amount owed, average credit history and available credit.

Which credit score do banks use? ›

They are Experian, Equifax and CIBIL. CIBIL is quite popular as it has been in the business for a long time. Non-Banking Financial Companies and banks use the credit score provided by CIBIL, Experian and Equifax to determine the potential risk of lending to a customer.

Which credit bureau is most accurate? ›

Although Experian is the largest credit bureau in the U.S., TransUnion and Equifax are widely considered to be just as accurate and important. When it comes to credit scores, however, there is a clear winner: FICO® Score is used in 90% of lending decisions.

Why is Credit Karma so far off? ›

This is mainly because of two reasons: For one, lenders may pull your credit from different credit bureaus, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Your score can then differ based on what bureau your credit report is pulled from since they don't all receive the same information about your credit accounts.

How accurate is Experian FICO score? ›

Credit scores from the three main bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) are considered accurate. The accuracy of the scores depends on the accuracy of the information provided to them by lenders and creditors. You can check your credit report to ensure the information is accurate.

What two things do you need to have a FICO score? ›

In order to receive a valid FICO Score, the credit report must have:
  • At least one account opened for six months or more, and.
  • At least one account that has been reported to the credit bureau within the past six months, and.

What are the disadvantages of a FICO score? ›

These are the biggest disadvantages of having a bad credit score
  • You're too big of a risk for mainstream lenders. ...
  • You pay more for your loan. ...
  • Your insurance premiums may go up. ...
  • You may miss out on career opportunities. ...
  • You'll have a harder time renting an apartment.

What 3 companies give you a FICO score? ›

The information in each of your Credit Reports from the three credit bureaus can be different. This is why it's important to review your Experian, Equifax®, and TransUnion® Credit Reports and FICO Scores.

What are 2 things that can lower your FICO credit score? ›

5 Things That May Hurt Your Credit Scores
  • Highlights: Even one late payment can cause credit scores to drop. ...
  • Making a late payment. ...
  • Having a high debt to credit utilization ratio. ...
  • Applying for a lot of credit at once. ...
  • Closing a credit card account. ...
  • Stopping your credit-related activities for an extended period.

What bills affect your credit score? ›

Only those monthly payments that are reported to the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) can do that. Typically, your car, mortgage and credit card payments count toward your credit score, while bills that charge you for a service or utility typically don't.

What is the best and the worst your FICO score can be? ›

The base FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, and a good credit score is between 670 and 739 within that range.

How far off is Credit Karma? ›

Well, the credit score and report information on Credit Karma is accurate, as two of the three credit agencies are reporting it. Equifax and TransUnion are the ones giving the reports and scores. Credit Karma also offers VantageScores, but they are separate from the other two credit bureaus.

Which credit score matters more TransUnion or Equifax? ›

TransUnion vs. Equifax: Which is most accurate? No credit score from any one of the credit bureaus is more valuable or more accurate than another. It's possible that a lender may gravitate toward one score over another, but that doesn't necessarily mean that score is better.

Do car dealerships use FICO? ›

What credit score do auto lenders look at? The three major credit bureaus are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The two big credit scoring models used by auto lenders are FICO® Auto Score and Vantage.

Is Experian or Credit Karma more correct? ›

Experian vs. Credit Karma: Which is more accurate for your credit scores? You may be surprised to know that the simple answer is that both are accurate. Read on to find out what's different between the two companies, how they get your credit scores, and why you have more than one credit score to begin with.

Do banks use TransUnion or Equifax? ›

In conclusion. Credit card issuers and lenders may use one or more of the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—to help determine your eligibility for new credit card accounts, loans and more.

Which of the 3 credit bureaus is most important? ›

It's important to note that all three bureaus are used widely in the U.S. None of them are more “important” than the others. There is no “best” credit bureau—all three bureaus can offer helpful information and tools to help you make financial decisions.

What day of the month does your credit score update? ›

Credit card companies, for example, usually report by a recurring date known as the billing cycle or statement date. But the exact day of the month may be different for each provider. In short, there's no set day that all lenders deliver information to the CRAs.

Can I get a car loan with a 663 credit score? ›

Can I get an auto loan with an 663 credit score? The short answer is yes, but you're likely to get a significantly higher-than-average interest rate. To put it into perspective, as of November 2022, the typical borrower with prime credit (720 or higher FICO score) got an APR of 5.34% on a 60-month new auto loan.

Why is my FICO score 100 points lower than Credit Karma? ›

Some lenders report to all three major credit bureaus, but others report to only one or two. Because of this difference in reporting, each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit report information for you and you may see different scores as a result.

Which credit report is closest to FICO? ›

Experian is a credit reporting agency that also offers consumer credit monitoring products. FICO is a scoring model. A service called myFICO offers similar consumer credit monitoring products to Experian. The two services are similar in their accuracy.

Which FICO score matters most? ›

FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top lenders, but even so, there's no single credit score or scoring system that's most important. In a very real way, the score that matters most is the one used by the lender willing to offer you the best lending terms.

How can I raise my FICO auto score? ›

4 ways to build your credit before buying a car
  1. Dispute errors on your credit report. Start by getting a free copy of your credit report. ...
  2. Pay your bills on time. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your FICO credit score. ...
  3. Lower your credit card balances. ...
  4. Avoid applying for new credit.
Feb 10, 2023

Is FICO score 8 good? ›

FICO 8 scores range between 300 and 850. A FICO score of at least 700 is considered a good score. There are also industry-specific versions of credit scores that businesses use. For example, the FICO Bankcard Score 8 is the most widely used score when you apply for a new credit card or a credit-limit increase.

What is the difference between FICO score 8 and 9? ›

FICO 9 is similar to FICO 8 but differs when it comes to collections and rent payments. FICO 9 counts medical collections less harshly than other accounts in collections, so a surgery bill in collections will have less of an impact on your credit score than a credit card bill in collections.

Why is my FICO score better than my credit score? ›

Why is my FICO® score different from my credit score? Your FICO Score is a credit score. But if your FICO score is different from another of your credit scores, it may be that the score you're viewing was calculated using one of the other scoring models that exist.

Which credit score is most accurate? ›

The most accurate credit scores are the latest versions of the FICO Score and VantageScore credit-scoring models: FICO Score 9/10 and VantageScore 3.0/4.0. It is important to check a reputable, accurate credit score because there are more than 1,000 different types of credit scores floating around.

How far off is Credit Karma from FICO? ›

In some cases, as seen in an example below, Credit Karma may be off by 20 to 25 points.

Does anyone have a 900 credit score? ›

Depending on the type of scoring model, a 900 credit score is possible. While the most common FICO and VantageScore models only go up to 850, the FICO Auto Score and FICO Bankcard Score models range from 250 to 900.

What is a good FICO score to buy a car? ›

Here's a quick look at how a good credit score can benefit you when you're buying a car. Lower interest rates. A good credit score — typically a score of 680 or higher — can help you secure a low interest rate from the dealer. In fact, taking your score from 600 to 780 could halve your rate.

What is FICO score 3 used for? ›

FICO® Bankcard Score 2 and FICO® Score 3: Experian provides these versions of the FICO® Score to credit card issuers that prefer them for their approval processes. FICO® Bankcard Score 4: Card issuers can get this version of the FICO® Bankcard Score from TransUnion.

Do banks look at FICO score 8? ›

While most lenders use the FICO Score 8, mortgage lenders use the following scores: Experian: FICO Score 2, or Fair Isaac Risk Model v2. Equifax: FICO Score 5, or Equifax Beacon 5. TransUnion: FICO Score 4, or TransUnion FICO Risk Score 04.

Why is my FICO score 8 higher than credit karma? ›

Some lenders report to all three major credit bureaus, but others report to only one or two. Because of this difference in reporting, each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit report information for you and you may see different scores as a result.


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