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Created by the Fair Isaac Corporation, FICO is the best-known credit scoring system in the United States.
Based on the information in your credit report, your FICO score is calculated using complex, proprietary formulas that weigh the amount of debt you carry relative to your available credit, the timeliness of your payments, the type of debt you carry, and a great many other factors to assign you a credit score between 300 and 850.
The top 20% of credit profiles receive a score over 780 and the lowest 20% receive scores under 620. Lenders use your credit score to assess your credit risk, or the likelihood that you will default on a loan and offer the best -- or lowest -- interest rates to credit applicants with the highest scores.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits factors such as race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or marital status from being considered in any credit scoring system, including FICO.
Fair Isaac Company (FICO) score
A credit score, based on the name of the company that wrote the software that calculates the scores.
See Credit Score.