FICO® Scores

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What are FICO® Scores?

The credit scores most widely used in lending decisions are FICO® Scores, the credit scores created by Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). Lenders can request FICO® Scores from all three major consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). Lenders use FICO® Scores to help them make billions of credit decisions every year. FICO develops FICO® Score based solely on information in consumer credit files maintained at the CRAs.

Understanding your FICO® Scores can help you better understand your credit risk and allow you to more responsibly manage your financial health.

A good FICO® Score means better financial options for you.

FICO Scores breakdown

What is a good FICO® Score?

The score above which a lender would accept a new application for credit, but below which the credit application would be denied, is known as the “score cutoff”. Since the score cutoff varies by lender, 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. Your lender may be able to give you guidance on their criteria for a given credit product.

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

Ranges of FICO® Scores What FICO® Scores in this range mean
800 or Higher These FICO® Scores are in the top 20% of U.S. consumers
Demonstrate to lenders that the consumer is an exceptional borrower
740 to 799 These FICO® Scores are in the top 40% of U.S. consumers
Demonstrate to lenders that the consumer is a very dependable borrower
670 to 739 These FICO® Scores are near the average for U.S. consumers
Considered by most lenders to be good scores
580 to 669 These FICO® Scores are in the lowest 40% of U.S. consumers
Some lenders will approve credit applications within this score range
Lower than 580 These FICO® Scores are in the lowest 20% of U.S. consumers
Demonstrate to lenders that the consumer is a very risky borrower

FICO® Score FAQ

Why is Vanderbilt providing me with my FICO® Score?

We think it’s important to provide our customers with access to information that will help them understand and stay on top of their credit status. That’s why we are providing you with your FICO® Score and information to help you understand it.

Where did Vanderbilt get my FICO® Score?

Vanderbilt partners with FICO and TransUnion, one of the major credit reporting agencies, to be able to provide you with your FICO® Score.

Why is this score different from other scores that I received from somewhere else?

The FICO® Score Vanderbilt provides is based on information from your TransUnion credit report based on the “as of” date included with your score. This may differ from scores you obtain elsewhere that may have been calculated at a different time using information from a different credit bureau or even a different score model. If you have additional questions regarding the FICO® Score model and how it’s calculated, please refer to the FICO® Score FAQ and Understanding FICO® Scores links under the “Useful Links” section to the right.

I don’t agree with my FICO® Score or Key Factors

Your FICO® Score and Key Factors were provided to Vanderbilt as they correspond to information within your TransUnion credit report based on the calculation date (i.e., “as of” date). If you feel this information is inaccurate, you can request a free annual credit report from TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have additional questions after reviewing, please contact TransUnion at the number provided within your credit report. you will be able to speak with a representative for additional help and be sure to have the reference number included with your credit report when speaking with TransUnion.

I don’t see my FICO® Score when I log onto my account.

Your score won’t be available if:

  • You recently opened a new account
  • You’re an authorized user on someone else’s account
  • The billing statement is not in your name

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.