Is a FICO Score the Same as my Credit Score?
A FICO Score is a brand of credit score — FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation and Fair Isaac is the company that developed the software program used by the credit bureaus to compile and calculate credit scores for U.S. consumers.
You can learn more about Fair Isaac at the company’s Web site and in addition to the FICO Score, there are hundreds of other kinds of credit scores developed for consumer, businesses, insurance companies and other purposes that vary from the basic FICO Score.
While there are hundreds of smaller, regional credit bureaus across the United States, there are three main national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These credit bureaus report your FICO Scores to lenders.
The credit bureaus report these scores to lenders who may be considering granting credit to an individual. While lenders don’t rely solely on credit scores to determine creditworthiness, the credit scores do have a significant impact on whether a person is approved for credit, how much credit the individual qualifies for, and what the interest rate will be on that credit.
It is important to note that credit scores are not etched in granite. They can change for better or for worse, depending on an individual’s payment history, amount of debt, and other factors. It’s best to know your credit score before applying for any credit.
If you have been denied credit based on information a lender obtained from a credit bureau, you are entitled to a free credit report. You will be notified in writing by the lender of which credit bureau was used so you can then request your free credit report. Read it carefully. It’s possible there is incorrect information that resulted in your credit application denial.