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If you’re planning to apply for a loan, mortgage or credit card, one of the first things that will be checked is your credit score. FICO Score 8 is one of the most commonly used credit scoring models, and you might be wondering if it’s a good score to have. In this article, we’ll explore what FICO Score 8 is, how it’s calculated, and whether it’s considered a good score.
What is FICO Score 8?
FICO Score 8 is a credit scoring model developed by Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). This model is used by many lenders to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness. FICO Score 8 is calculated based on information from your credit report, such as your payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit, and recent credit inquiries.
How is FICO Score 8 calculated?
FICO Score 8 uses a scale of 300 to 850 to calculate credit scores, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. Here’s how the score is calculated:
Payment history (35%): The most important factor in calculating FICO Score 8 is your payment history. Late payments, delinquencies, and collections can all have a negative impact on your score.
Amounts owed (30%): The second most important factor is your credit utilization, or the amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limit. High credit utilization can lower your score.
Length of credit history (15%): The length of time you’ve had credit accounts also affects your score. Generally, the longer your credit history, the better.
Types of credit (10%): The types of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages, can also impact your score.
New credit (10%): Finally, recent credit inquiries and new credit accounts can also affect your score. Applying for multiple credit accounts within a short period of time can lower your score.
Is FICO Score 8 considered a good score?
Now that we know how FICO Score 8 is calculated, the question remains: is it considered a good score? The short answer is yes. A FICO Score 8 of 670 or higher is generally considered a good score by most lenders. A score of 740 or higher is considered very good, while a score of 800 or higher is considered exceptional.
However, it’s important to note that different lenders may have different credit score requirements. For example, some lenders may require a score of 680 or higher, while others may require a score of 720 or higher. Additionally, some lenders may consider other factors in addition to your credit score, such as your income and employment history.
Improving your FICO Score 8
If you have a FICO Score 8 that’s lower than you’d like, there are steps you can take to improve it. Here are a few tips:
- Make all your payments on time: Late payments can have a significant impact on your score, so it’s important to make all your payments on time.
- Reduce your credit utilization: High credit utilization can lower your score, so try to keep your credit balances low.
- Avoid opening new credit accounts: Applying for multiple credit accounts within a short period of time can lower your score, so avoid doing so if possible.
- Keep old credit accounts open: The length of your credit history is a factor in your score, so try to keep old credit accounts open even if you’re not using them.
In conclusion, having a good FICO Score 8 is definitely something to strive for, as it can provide numerous benefits such as lower interest rates, better loan and credit card options, and increased approval rates. However, it is important to remember that credit scores are just one factor that lenders consider when evaluating your creditworthiness. Other factors such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, and payment history can also play a significant role in determining your creditworthiness.
If you have a low FICO Score 8, don’t despair. There are steps you can take to improve your score, such as paying bills on time, keeping credit card balances low, and disputing errors on your credit report. It may take some time and effort, but with perseverance and a good strategy, you can work towards achieving a better credit score.
Remember, the FICO Score 8 is just one of many credit scoring models available. Different lenders may use different models or versions, and some may even use their own proprietary scoring systems. So while it’s helpful to understand the FICO Score 8 and what it means, it’s important to keep in mind that it is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding your creditworthiness.