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FICO Scores Guide

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Company Profile: FICO®

Fair Isaac Corporation is a global provider of analytic, software and data management products and services, specializing in the credit analysis market.

Fair Isaac, more popularly known as FICO, is a pioneer in the credit score and credit account management fields, mainly providing credit scoring models and results to banks, credit reporting agencies, credit card processing agencies, insurers, retailers and healthcare organizations. FICO focuses on three key areas: Applications, Scores and Tools.

Consumers will be most familiar with FICO for their FICO Score. FICO introduced the FICO Score with Equifax in 1989. By 1991 all three national consumer reporting agencies were selling the score to lenders. In the process the score revolutionized the way lenders and other businesses assessed consumer credit risk. Because it considers only credit histories, the score offers a fair and objective risk assessment that ignores subjective factors. By assessing aperson’s general risk of repayment, the score proved useful to lenders throughout their relationship with consumers – from new loan decisions to account management decisions. The score also proved useful to creditors in other industries such as retail goods and telecommunications services. And by providing the first risk assessment consistently scaled across all three agencies, the FICO Score made it easier for lenders to tap more than one agency and accelerated the speed with which they could assess risk and make credit decisions. As a result, more consumers gained faster and more convenient access to credit including people who previously would have been denied credit for subjective reasons.

The company’s stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol FICO.

FACT: FICO was founded in 1956 as Fair, Isaac and Company by engineer Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac. FICO sold its first credit scoring system in 1958. In addition, 1987 was a banner year for the company. That year, FICO went public, and the firm also introduced the first general-purpose FICO score.

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  • taliah

    I thought that getting your fico is considered a hard inquiry. Therefore it should lower scores.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Requesting your own scores is a soft inquiry that doesn’t affect your scores. Is that what you are asking?

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