Ever wonder what a FICO score stands for? Obviously, this is a credit score, but who determines what that score will be, and what does FICO mean? By taking learning more about the Fair Isaac Corporation, some of these questions can be answered.
In 1956, and engineer by the name of Bill Fair and a mathematician known as Earl Isaac founded the Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO. FICO originally provided consulting and decision management services, but in 1981 they developed a system for scoring the amount of risk associated with making certain loans and investments. The FICO score is a number generated from an individual’s credit history. By statistically analyzing this report, the FICO system assigns a value to the likelihood that an individual will pay their debts. This value is noted by banks and other lending institutions when determining the interest rates and other characteristics of a loan, helping them to make accurate and profitable lending decisions.
So is FICO a credit bureau? The answer is yes and no. It seems we have all heard of the credit bureaus that gather information about our debts and assign us credit scores. In actuality, they are not credit bureaus at all. FICO and the other similar companies are not associated with the government but are in fact publicly traded companies known as credit reporting agencies. Out of these companies such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, FICO is the most known and widely used credit-scoring agency in the United States.
The Fair Isaac Corporation is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota but has offices throughout five of the 7 major continents and turns a revenue of over $800 million dollar per year. Beyond producing credit scores, their over 3,500 employees provide consulting and management services to more than 200 international retailers, 99 of the top 100 US banks, and over 100 international telecommunications companies. FICO has become a cornerstone for the entire American economy.
Getting your fico score is easy. You can buy your score directly from FICO or you can receive a free credit score report from various online providers. Once you know your score, you can quickly assess what kinds of lending options might be available. A score of 720 or higher is considered worthy credit, or good credit, while anything that drops below a 600 is considered bad credit. With bad credit you will pay more in interest on loans and have more difficult qualifying for certain loan packages. There are many things you can do to improve your score, but the best one is to simply pay you debts.
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