multiple fico score versions

Your FICO® Score versions and what they mean to you.

FICO® Score 8 is the score you’re probably accustomed to seeing because it’s the most widely used FICO Score version out there today. In fact, FICO Scores are used by over 90% of top lenders in the US to make credit decisions.

So why is there more than one FICO® Score? In simple terms, the answer is: the times are always changing. The FICO Score model has been redeveloped over the years to keep it updated with the needs of lenders. This has resulted in multiple FICO® Score versions used throughout a number of industries.

myFICO states it this way, “It helps to think of how people use different versions of computer operating systems or have older or newer generations of smartphones. They all share the same base functionality, but the latest versions also have unique updated features to meet evolving user needs.”

Add to that the fact that the FICO® Score 8 is based on data from the three bureaus.  The following chart helps to give you an idea of the different FICO Scores.

FICO Score versions

What do these FICO Scores mean?

Now that you know the different FICO® Score versions, what do they mean to you? The main differences between versions are the “industry” within which the score is typically used and the “release version” of that score. Let’s explain…

FICO® Score 9:        The newest and most predictive FICO® Score version yet.
Score range: 250 – 900

FICO® Score 8:        The base FICO® Score version and most widely used by all types of lenders.
Score range: 300 – 850

FICO® Score 3:        Older FICO® Score version used by credit card lenders.
Score range: 250 – 900

FICO® Score 2:        Older FICO® Score version most widely used by mortgage lenders.
Score range: 300 – 850

 

FICO® Auto Score 2, 4, 5:          Older FICO® Score versions used by auto lenders.
Score range: 250 – 900

FICO® Auto Score 8:                  The latest FICO® Score version used by many auto lenders.
Score range: 250 – 900

 

FICO® Bankcard Score 2, 4, 5: Older FICO® Score versions used by credit card lenders.
Score range: 250 – 900

FICO® Bankcard Score 8:          The latest FICO® Score version used by many credit card lenders.
Score range: 250 – 900

Which FICO Score means the most to you?

For personal loans, student loans and most retail credit, FICO® Score 8 – the most widely used score – would be the most important score to know. However, if you’re financing a new car, you’ll probably want to know your FICO® Auto Scores because they’re used in the majority of auto financing credit analyses. If you’re applying for a credit card, your FICO® Bankcard Scores, along with your FICO Score 8 are of primary importance. If you’re considering buying a new home or refinancing a mortgage, it’s important to know your FICO Score versions previous to the FICO Score 8 (see chart above) because they’re used in most mortgage-related credit evaluations.

The numbers may seem a little overwhelming at first, but once understood, they’re a tremendous help when facing different credit situations. Knowing your scores, and their impact on a lender’s decision helps keep a level playing field when you’re looking for credit. It is knowledge that prepares you to better negotiate the extent of your credit limit and the interest rate you’ll have to pay.

See how knowing your FICO® Score can save you money.  And if you want to know how your FICO Score is calculated, look no further.

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Rob is a writer… of blogs, books and business. His financial investment experience combined with a long background in marketing credit protection services provides a source of information that helps fill the gaps on one’s journey toward financial well-being. His goal is simple: The more people he can help, the better.