Whether you know it or not- you have a FICO score. A FICO score, which was invented by the Fair Isaac Corporation, is the statistical probability of your likeliness to pay back a loan. Scores are based solely on information in consumer credit reports and is the most widely used credit score by top lenders

How is your FICO score calculated?

To calculate your FICO score, your credit report must contain enough recent information to base a score on. Predominately, this means that you should have at least one account that has been open for half a year or longer and has been reported to the credit bureau.

Both positive and negative information is calculated in your credit report. According to myfico.com the score is broken down like this:

  • 35 percent is payment history
  • 30 percent is accounts owed
  • 15 percent is length of credit history
  • 10 percent is new credit
  • 10 percent is types of credit in use.

Along with these factors, credit lenders may also look at your income, how long you have worked at your current job and the kind of credit you are requesting. A basic FICO score ranges between 300-850. The higher your score is, the lower the risk you are.

Equifax, Transunion,Experian

Many lenders use your FICO to assist them in making a decision as to whether they want to lend to you or not. Credit bureaus such as equifax, transunion, and experian use their own system to calculate your lending possibilities. For example, one credit bureau may have unique information captured on a consumer that is not being captured by the other two, or the same data element may be stored or displayed differently by the credit bureaus. All of your credit information may not be reported to all three credit bureaus. The information on your credit report is supplied by lenders, collection agencies and court records. Never assume that each credit bureau has the same information pertaining to your credit history

Where can you get your FICO score?

Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian own your credit data which means they have the right to make money off of consumers by selling your FICO score. Keep in mind that the “FICO” score they give you isn’t your actual FICO score, because if they gave you the real exact score, it would cost them money. Instead, they come up with a number using their own system, like we discussed earlier in this article. To access your actual FICO you would need to go to a bank or annualcreditreport.com– it’s free and it’s required by the law that you receive one report annually.


Recently, FICO has decided to start selling an updated FICO score known as FICO8. The credit score that mortgage people use is FICO5, FICO4, and FICO2. You can also monitor your credit through myfico.com. Anticipate a 60 dollar fee to get three FICO scores and credit reports. Remember, scores are different on each.