Because a business owner’s personal credit score is an important metric for most small business owners looking for a business loan, when Fair Isaac Corp pulls back the curtain to give more visibility into their FICO score, it’s newsworthy. On Monday they announced they would be offering consumers a look at the same versions of the FICO score lenders see.
While it’s true, consumers have been able to access their credit score either for free from sites like annualcreditreport.com or from one of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, the scores used by lenders are actually older versions of the score.
Most people have dozens of scores that are often different from the score you can access online. That’s not to say the score you can currently access for free isn’t a valid score, it is. It just might not be the one a lender looks at when they review your file for a mortgage or an auto loan.
“While FICO Score 8 is the most widely used credit score in America, the thousands of lenders using FICO Scores also can use different versions for particular credit risk decisions,” said Jim Wehmann, executive vice president for Scores at FICO. “By making these scores available along with FICO Score 8, we have created the most complete consumer credit score product ever available, and set a new standard for consumer empowerment. Consumers should accept no less.”
The FICO score was introduced 25 years ago and has gone through several revisions and updates since its introduction. Understanding your personal credit score is crucially important and gaining added visibility into exactly what your lender is seeing can be a great benefit when it’s time to apply for a loan.
You can access these extra scores at myFICO.com. For a nominal fee you can access your scores for one-time only, or for $14.95 a month, you can subscribe to the service and have continuing access.