Understanding The Many Versions of FICO

FAKO scores are non-FICO scores offered by various companies. User jello77 explains that these have little value since few of them are used by lenders, and they do not match closely to FICO scores.

FICO scores, on the other hand, come in many different editions, versions, and variations. On a single day, a consumer could theoretically have dozens of different FICO scores, depending on which version and credit agency is used to produce the score.

These are some facts to know about the many flavors of the FICO scoring model, according to this thread in myFICO:

  • The FICO scoring model with the traditional range of 300 to 850 was first introduced in 1989.
  • Since its release, FICO has released five revisions: 1995, 1998, 2004, 2008, and 2014. Each version uses a different formula and produces a different score.
  • When a FICO edition is released, many lenders continue using an older version for years before “upgrading.”
  • Most FICO editions are commonly known by the year of introduction: FICO 98, FICO 04, and FICO 08 (it has since been called by FICO as FICO Score 8).
  • FICO Score 9, the most recent version, was introduced in 2014.
  • FICO Score 8 is the most commonly used. However, most mortgage lenders use FICO 04 for Equifax and Transunion, and FICO 98 for Experian.
  • FICO offers “Industry Option” versions customized for auto loans, credit cards, installment loans, personal finances loans, and insurance. These have a score range of 250 to 900, so the scores are not fully comparable with “classic” versions.
  • Each credit agency (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) uses a customized version of each FICO edition. As a result, a consumer’s FICO scores from each agency may differ.

To learn more about the different types of FICO scores, read more here.

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