FICO® Scores Versions

Did you know you have more than one FICO® Score?

Since FICO® Scores were introduced to lenders over 25 years ago, they have become the best-known and most widely used credit score. But quite a bit has changed since lenders first started using FICO Scores in 1989. Lender credit-granting requirements, data reporting practices, consumer demand for credit and consumer use of credit have all evolved.

To help lenders make more informed credit-granting decisions, and to help ensure you get access to the credit you need, the FICO® Score model has been updated periodically over the years. As an example, we use credit much more frequently than we used to. FICO® Scores have been updated to reflect this change in behavior. If we didn't, seemingly normal credit usage today would be considered a higher risk than in years past.The result is that there are multiple FICO Score versions available, in addition to the most widely used version, FICO Score 8.

Experian Equifax TransUnion
Most widely used version
FICO® Score 8 FICO® Score 8 FICO® Score 8
Versions used in auto lending
FICO® Auto Score 8
FICO® Auto Score 2
FICO® Auto Score 8
FICO® Auto Score 5
FICO® Auto Score 8
FICO® Auto Score 4
Versions used in credit card decisioning
FICO® Bankcard Score 8
FICO® Score 3
FICO® Bankcard Score 2
FICO® Bankcard Score 8
FICO® Bankcard Score 5
FICO® Bankcard Score 8
FICO® Bankcard Score 4
Versions used in mortgage lending
FICO® Score 2 FICO® Score 5 FICO® Score 4
Newly released version
FICO® Score 9
FICO® Auto Score 9
FICO® Bankcard Score 9
FICO® Score 9
FICO® Auto Score 9
FICO® Bankcard Score 9
FICO® Score 9
FICO® Auto Score 9
FICO® Bankcard Score 9

How do lenders use new FICO® Scores?

When a new FICO® Score version like FICO Score 9 is developed, we release it to the market.

From there, each lender determines if and when it will upgrade to the latest version. Some lenders make the upgrade quickly, while others may take longer. This is why some lenders are currently using different versions of the FICO® Score. As an example, FICO Score 5 at Equifax is the FICO Score version previous to FICO Score 8 at Equifax.

Other FICO® Score versions, including industry-specific auto and bankcard versions, are also included in the FICO Score products on myFICO.com so you can see what most lenders see when looking at your scores.

Regardless of the FICO® Score version, the keys to obtaining favorable FICO Scores remain the same:

  • Make payments on time
  • Keep credit card balances low
  • Open new credit accounts only when needed

FICO® Scores are evolving to keep up with modern behaviors and needs

Think of how people use different versions of computer operating systems or have older or newer generations of smart phones. They all share the same base functionality, but the latest versions also have unique updated features to meet evolving user needs.

The same goes for FICO® Scores.

The various FICO® Score versions all have a similar underlying foundation, and all versions effectively identify higher risk people from lower risk people. Every time a FICO Score is updated it incorporates unique features, leverages new risk prediction technology, and reflects more recent consumer credit behaviors.

The end result is a more predictive score that helps lenders make more informed lending decisions, which ultimately makes the credit process easier, faster and fairer.

How is FICO® Score 8 different from previous versions?

While the underlying foundation of FICO® Score 8 is consistent with previous versions, there are several unique features that make up FICO Score 8:

  • High credit card usage
    Though all FICO® Score versions consider high credit card utilization to be reflective of higher risk, FICO Score 8 is more sensitive to highly utilized credit cards. So if a credit report shows a high balance close to the card's limit, FICO Score 8 will likely be more impacted than a previous score version.

Keeping credit card balances low can help maintain or improve the score.

  • Isolated late payments
    If a lender reports to the credit bureau that you were at least 30 days late with your payment, it will likely result in a loss of points within all FICO® Score versions. If the late payment is an isolated event and other accounts are in good standing, FICO Score 8 is more forgiving compared to previous FICO Score versions.

However, if the credit report shows numerous late payments, the reverse is true and the FICO® Score 8 will likely lose more points as compared to previous FICO Score versions.

  • Authorized user of credit card
    All FICO® Score versions include authorized user credit card accounts when calculating a FICO score. This can help people benefit from their shared management of a credit card account. It also helps lenders by providing credit scores that are based on a full snapshot of the consumer's credit history.

To protect lenders and honest consumers, FICO® Score 8 substantially reduces any benefit of so-called "trade line renting." That's a credit repair practice that entices consumers into being added to a stranger's credit account in order to misrepresent their credit risk to lenders.

  • Small-balance collections accounts
    FICO® Score 8 ignores small-dollar "nuisance" collection accounts in which the original balance was less than $100.

Introducing FICO® Score 9 - the most predictive FICO Score to date

Many lenders have already upgraded, or are in the process of upgrading, to FICO® Score 9. It's our newest FICO Score version, and it has important updates that make it the most predictive FICO Score yet.

  • Third-party collections that have been paid off no longer have a negative impact.
  • Medical collections are treated differently than other types of debt. Unpaid medical collections will have less of a negative impact on FICO® Score 9.
  • Rental history, when it's reported, factors into the score?this may be especially beneficial for people with a limited credit history.

Industry-specific FICO® Scores

Industry-specific FICO® Scores are FICO Scores versions that are optimized for a certain type of credit product, such as auto loans or credit cards. The foundation of these versions is the same as the base FICO Score versions, but they are fine-tuned based on industry-specific risk behaviors.

This helps ensure that lenders get optimal information and can make better decisions, so that you get access to the right credit.

What's the difference between base FICO® Scores and industry-specific FICO® Scores?

Base FICO® Scores, such as FICO Score 8, are designed to predict the likelihood of not paying as agreed in the future on any credit obligation, whether it's a mortgage, credit card, student loan or other credit product.

Industry-specific FICO® Scores incorporate the predictive power of base FICO Scores while also providing lenders a further-refined credit risk assessment tailored to the type of credit the consumer is seeking. For example, auto lenders and credit card issuers may use a FICO Auto Score or a FICO Bankcard Score, respectively, instead of base FICO Scores.

FICO® Auto Scores and FICO Bankcard Scores have these aspects in common:

  • Many lenders may use these scores instead of the base FICO® Score.
  • It is up to each lender to determine which credit score they will use and what other financial information they will consider in their credit review process.
  • The versions range from 250-900 (compared to 300-850 for base FICO® Scores) and higher scores continue to equate to lower risk.

Which FICO® Score version is important to me?

Consider these guidelines:

Financing a new car? You'll likely want to know your FICO® Auto Scores, the industry specific scores used in the majority of auto financing-related credit evaluations.

Applying for a credit card? You'll likely want to know your FICO® Bankcard Scores or FICO Score 8, the score versions used by many credit card issuers.

Purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage? You'll likely want to know the base FICO® Score versions previous to FICO Score 8, as these are the scores used in the majority of mortgage-related credit evaluations.

For other types of credit, such as personal loans, student loans and retail credit, you'll likely want to know your FICO® Score 8, which is the score most widely used by lenders.

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