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Over 50 Different FICO Score Models-Reviewed And Explained

- Jun 23, 2024 credit, Credit Scores0 comments

Fair, Isaac and Company (aka FICO) was founded in 1956 by two partners Bill Fair and Earl Isaac. It built its first credit score model in 1989. Today, it has grown to be the number that everyone sweats over, your FICO score!

Over the years, FICO has built many different FICO score models, some of which are still in use today, and some of which aren’t. In this post, let’s discuss the different FICO score models and what you need to know about them.

The first FICO score

In 1989, Equifax, in partnership with FICO, started building an industry-standard credit score which is now known as the FICO score. The first FICO score was introduced in 1993. The score was built to be able to determine how likely it would be for the consumer to be 90 days late or more within the next 24 months. The higher the score the less chance.

Different score names or models included:

  • FIC0 95 FICO Risk Score
  • Classic 95 FICO Risk Score
  • Classic 95 Industry Options

As the FICO-95 scoring model is completely discontinued and is no longer in use, we won’t expand too much on it.

FICO scores - generation two

Just like Apple releases an improved iPhone every so often, so does FICO release improved scoring models. In 1998, FICO introduced its second generation of scoring models.

Differences:  The FICO score model is highly confidential, but based on my experience, I find the FICO-02 to be a little more lenient with credit card balances. It also still calculates authorized users as normal credit cards, making piggybacking credit possible.

Different score names or models included:

  • FICO-02
  • FICO Risk Model V2
  • Experian FICO Risk Model V2 – Installment Loan
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V2 – Bankcard
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V2 – Auto
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V2 –  Personal Finance
  • BEACON-96
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 98
  • FICO® Risk Score- NextGen
  • BEACON 5.0 – Mortgage
  • BEACON 5.0 – Auto
  • BEACON 5.0 – Bankcard
  • BEACON 5.0 – Installment
  • BEACON 5.0 – Personal Finance
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 98 – Auto
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 98 – Personal Finance
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 98 – Installment Loan
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 98 – Bankcard

How to generate a credit score: In order to generate a credit score, you must have:

  •  1 tradeline updated within the last 6 months,
  •  1 tradeline at least 6 months old, 
  • No deceased indicator.

Features: 

Still used for: This is the most widely used scoring model for mortgage loans by Experian.

Where to view: You can purchase your FICO 02 score on MyFICO.com

FICO scores - generation three

In 2004, FICO once again released a new scoring model. This time, even smarter and better than ever before.

Differences:  Again, FICO doesn’t disclose much about their algorithm but based on my own experience, I find the FICO 04 score is starting to dump credit points for high credit utilization, starting at just 9%, which is stricter than the FICO 02 score. The inquiry waiver for mortgage and auto loan inquiries increased from a 14 day period to a 45 day period. Just like FICO 02, FICO 04 calculates authorized users as normal credit cards, making piggybacking credit possible.

Different score names or models included:

  • FICO-04
  • FICO V3
  • BEACON 5.0
  • FICO® Risk Score Classic 04
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V3 – Auto
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V3 – Personal Finance
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V3 – Installment Loan
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model V3 – Bankcard
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 04 – Auto
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 04 – Bankcard
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 04 – Installment
  • FICO Risk Score, Classic 04 – Personal Finance
  • BEACON 5.0 – Mortgage
  • BEACON 5.0 – Auto
  • BEACON 5.0 – Bankcard
  • BEACON 5.0 – Installment
  • BEACON 5.0 – Personal Finance

How to generate a credit score: In order for FICO-04 to generate a credit score, you must have: 

  • 1 tradeline updated within the last 6 months, 
  • 1 tradeline at least 6 months old, 
  • No deceased indicator.

Features: 

Still used for: This is the most widely used scoring model for mortgage loans by TransUnion and Equifax. The BankCard version is used by Capital One for credit card applications.

Where to view: You can purchase your FICO 04 score on MyFICO.com or Experian.

FICO scores - generation four

As time passed, the FICO scoring model kept on improving and in 2008, FICO released a brand new scoring model known as FICO-08 which came along with many improvements. The FICO-08 scoring model is used today for most credit card or other loan applications

Differences:

  • One of the main differences between the newer FICO-08 model is small-dollar collections. With FICO-08 a collection for less than $100 dollars will not affect your credit score.
  • FICO also improved the way they calculate utilization for charge cards (AKA no preset limit credit cards). The older models used to count the highest balance within the last 24 months as your credit limit. With FICO-08, charge cards are completely excluded from credit utilization calculations.
  • Another difference is with self-reported utility or phone bills. FICO-08 is the first FICO model that’s built to be able to calculate credit scores based on these self-reported loans.
  • And last but not least, with FICO 08, FICO killed a good old trick piggybacking credit.

Different score names or models included:

  • FICO 08
  • Beacon 09
  • FICO Risk score, Classic 08 Auto
  • FICO Risk score, Classic 08 Bankcard
  • FICO® 8 Mortgage Risk Score
  • FICO® 8 Industry Scores
  • BEACON 09 Mortgage
  • BEACON 09 Bankcard
  • BEACON 09 Auto
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model 08 – Auto
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model 08 – Bankcard
  • Experian, FICO Risk Model 08 – Mortgage

How to generate a credit score: In order for FICO-08 to generate a credit score, you must have: 

  • 1 tradeline updated within the last 6 months, 
  • 1 tradeline at least 6 months old, 
  • No deceased indicator.

Features: 

Still used for: This is the most widely used scoring model for credit cards and auto loans.

Where to view: You can purchase your FICO 08 score on MyFICO.com or Experian.

FICO scores - generation five

In 2016, FICO released a new and improved scoring model, known as FICO-09. Even with FICO-09 having been released so many years ago, FICO still has not been able to convince lenders to trust it and till today, the FICO-09 scoring model is still hardly used.

Differences:

  • With FICO-09, medical collections have less impact on credit scores than other collections
  • With FICO-09, collections which are paid will no longer impact your credit score
  • FICO-09 is the first scoring model that is built to be able to calculate credit scores based on on-time rental payments (if the landlord reports them to the credit bureaus)

Different score names or models included:

  • FICO 09

How to generate a credit score: In order for FICO-09 to generate a credit score, you must have:

  •  1 tradeline updated within the last 6 months, 
  • 1 tradeline at least 6 months old, 
  • No deceased indicator.

Features: 

Still used for: FICO-09 as of today is still mostly not used by lenders

Where to view: You can purchase your FICO-09 score on MyFICO.com.

FICO 10 - newest model

FICO-10 is the newest FICO model that FICO is currently building but still has not been released. FICO has said that with FICO-10, one of the improvements will be factoring in trending data. Another change FICO will be doing, is in regards to personal loans. A consumer with a lot of personal loans on their credit report will see their FICO-10 score drop. You can read more about these two changes here.

Frequently asked questions
What FICO score models is used for credit card applications?
Most credit card issuers use the FICO-08 or FICO Bankcard 08 scoring model. Capital One uses FICO 04.
Which FICO model is used for mortgage applications?
Mortgage banks use Experian FICO V2, TransUnion FICO-05, and Equifax FICO Beacon -V5
Which FICO score is used for auto loans or auto leases?
Most auto lenders use FICO 08 of FICO Classic 08 Auto
Why when I check my credit score it is always different numbers, depending on which website I check my score on?
There are many different scoring models and each scoring model results in a slightly different credit score. If you are getting a different number on two different websites it's possible that either a different credit score model is used to calculate your credit score. Also, it may be that your credit score is calculated based on a different credit report which has slightly different information (there are three credit bureaus Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.
Where can I buy the most accurate FICO score?
There are many websites that claim to sell you real FICO scores. Even though they are real FICO scores, they may just be educational scores created by FICO but not the real FICO score used in lending decisions. In my experience, the most accurate website to buy your FICO score is MYFICO.com (please note you can view multiple FICO scores chooses the one that's the most applicable for example the Mortgage Lending score, etc)
Are credit scores controlled by the government?
No. But there are many laws on which factors may be included in your credit score and which not

Was this article helpful?

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Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

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