Fico score explanation
How do your FICO® scores compare to the national average?
In a Nutshell
We think it’s important for you to understand how we make money. It’s pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.
Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That’s why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.
You’ve probably heard of FICO® scores, but do you know what they are and how yours compare to the average American’s?
FICO® scores are based on FICO® credit scoring models and are widely used by banks, credit card companies and other lenders throughout the United States. FICO® scores may help a lender determine whether you’re approved for new credit. And if you are approved, the scores can influence the interest rates you’re offered.
What is a FICO® score?
FICO® scores are three-digit scores based on credit scoring models created by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO is an acronym from the company’s name). Though FICO® scoring models aren’t the only credit scoring models used in the lending industry — VantageScore is another type of credit scoring model — it’s popular among lenders.
Your FICO® scores are derived from information on your credit reports. You should have three credit reports, one from each of the major consumer credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — which means you can also have at least three FICO® scores. Each of your FICO® scores may vary, since each credit bureau may have different information in your respective credit report.
If you’ve had any credit accounts in the past 10 years, you probably have credit reports. However, you’ll only see credit scores if your reports show recent activity – generally within the last 24 months. If you’ve never had a credit account or maybe you paid off all your accounts and let all activity on them lapse, you might not have credit scores. According to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, approximately 45 million Americans were without a credit score.
What is the national FICO® score average?
The range for most FICO® scores is 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better credit and lower scores indicating poorer credit. You can get your VantageScore® credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax for free on Credit Karma. Those scores may be similar to your FICO® scores. Once you get your FICO® scores, you may want to know how you stack up against your fellow Americans. Let’s dive in and take a look!