FICO® Score Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A FICO® BANKCARD SCORE 8? WHAT TYPE OF SCORE IS THIS?

The FICO® Bankcard Score 8 is a credit scoring model FICO has created to summarize credit card risk. It's the score we purchase each month, and we are making it available to you for free through our website and mobile app. This can help you gain insight into your credit history and also help you make good financial decisions in the future.

WHAT/WHO IS FICO?

FICO is the brand name for Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). Fair Isaac is a company that was founded in 1956. They use advanced math and analytics to help businesses make smarter decisions. FICO® Scores are the most widely used credit scores in lending decisions. Lenders can request FICO® Scores from all three major credit reporting agencies, which are based solely on information in consumer credit files maintained at the credit reporting agencies. FICO is a trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and in other countries.

WHAT IS A CREDIT SCORE?

A credit score is a number that summarizes your credit risk - how likely you are to pay your credit obligations as agreed. The score is based on a snapshot of your credit file at a particular point in time, and helps lenders evaluate your credit risk. Your credit score influences the credit that's available to you and the terms, such as interest rate, that lenders offer you.

WHY DON’T I SEE MY FICO SCORE?

There may be several reasons for this. If you are an “authorized user”, your FICO® Score will not appear, only the primary cardholder's score will appear. For accounts that have "joint cardholders" on the account, only the primary cardholder's FICO® Score will be displayed. Some months, however, we are simply unable to match the primary cardholder to a score at the bureau. Here are a couple of reasons why this could happen and you would not see a score:

  1. Your account is new. It may take a 30 to 45 days for us to populate your score on our website and mobile app. Please log in again after your next statement to check your FICO® Score.
  2. The FICO® Score we have on file for you is more than 90 days old. Your account may be closed or has not been used in several months.

HOW OFTEN IS MY FICO® SCORE UPDATED?

You can check your current score on our website or mobile app 24/7. You will notice that it is updated every 30 days, usually around the middle of each month. If there has been no activity on your account for a number of months, we may not receive your FICO® Score. In this case, a score will not be displayed. When there has been activity again on your card, your FICO® Score will be displayed with the next 30 day update.

IS THIS SERVICE IMPACTING MY CREDIT /SCORE?

We already receive our cardholders' FICO® Scores from a credit bureau each month to help us manage your account. This is an industry-standard practice that does not impact your credit bureau score in any way. With this service, we are simply taking that same score and providing it to you so you may see the score we are using to manage your account.

HOW CAN I GET A FREE COPY OF MY CREDIT REPORT?

You may request a copy of your credit report for free each year from AnnualCreditReport.com.

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I DISAGREE WITH MY FICO® SCORE? HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS OR BELIEVE SOMETHING IS WRONG?

You may contact any of the three major credit bureaus with any questions or to request your credit report. Their website addresses are: Experian.com; Equifax.com; TransUnion.com. You may request a copy of your credit report for free each year from AnnualCreditReport.com.

WHY IS THIS FICO® SCORE DIFFERENT THAN A PREVIOUS SCORE I’VE SEEN?

There are many different credit scores available to consumers and lenders. FICO® Scores are the credit scores most used by lenders, but different lenders may use different versions of the FICO® Score. For example, mortgage lenders and credit card lenders may use different types of FICO® Scores specific to their industry. The score available to you on our website is the FICO® Bankcard Score 8 , which is tailored for credit card lending, so it may be different from a FICO® Score you have seen elsewhere.

WHAT ARE KEY SCORE FACTORS?

When a lender receives your FICO® Score, key "score factors" are delivered with the score. These key score factors are the top factors that affected the score. Addressing some or all of these score factors can help you better understand your financial health over time.

I HAVE EXCELLENT CREDIT SO WHY DO I HAVE THESE CREDIT SUGGESTIONS/ KEY SCORE FACTORS?

Key score factors explain the top factors that affected your FICO® Score. The order in which your FICO® Score factors are listed is important. The first indicates the area that most affected your FICO® Score and the second is next most significant area. It's important to take note of these items so you have a better idea of what is impacting your credit score over time. However, if you already have a very good FICO® Score (usually in the mid-700's or higher), score factors may not be as helpful, since they represent very marginal areas where you could improve your financial health.

HOW CAN I INCREASE MY FICO® SCORE?

We are not a credit repair organization, so we are unable to provide advice for how you can increase your score. For information on credit scores and tips for managing your financial health, see our Credit Basics page.

WHY DID MY FICO® SCORE DROP THIS MONTH?

There are many reasons why a score could change from month to month. See your key score factors to see the top factors that affected the score. For additional information, you may want to refer to your credit report which you can request at: AnnualCreditReport.com from any of the three major credit bureaus.

WHAT IS A GOOD FICO® SCORE/ HOW DO I READ THE FICO® SCORE METER?

It's hard to say what a good FICO® Score is outside the context of a particular lending decision. For example, one auto lender may offer lower interest rates to people with FICO® Scores above, say, 680; another lender may use 720, and so on.

The general practice assumes that the higher the score, the better the credit quality. The FICO® Score Meter next to your score on our webpage will give you a general idea of the strength of your FICO® Score.

The chart below provides a breakdown of FICO® Score ranges found across the U.S. consumer population. It provides general guidance on what a particular FICO® Score represents. Each lender has its own credit risk standards.

800 or higher Exceptional Your score is well above the average score of U.S. consumers and clearly demonstrates to lenders that you are an exceptional borrower.
740 to 799 Very Good Your score is above the average score of U.S. consumers and demonstrates to lenders that you are a very dependable borrower.
670 to 739 Good Your score is near or slightly above the average score of U.S. consumers and most lenders consider this a good score.
580 to 669 Fair Your score is below the average score of U.S consumers, though many lenders will approve loans with this score.
Lower than 580 Poor Your score is well below the average score of U.S. consumers and it demonstrates to lenders that you are a very risky borrower.

For answers to the complete set of potential questions you may have about FICO® Scores, download the complete FICO® Score FAQs or FICO Consumer Education.

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. First Bankcard and FICO are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. First Bankcard and FICO do not provide "credit repair" services, advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. To request a copy of your credit report, please visit: AnnualCreditReport.com.