FICO vs Credit Score: What's the Difference?

If you're applying for a loan at CCCU or preparing to restructure your debt, you'll want to understand FICO vs. credit score. You may wonder if the terms are interchangeable, or if there's a difference between the two. Here's what you need to know about the various types of credit scores and how they impact your ability to procure a loan or credit card.

A FICO Credit Score is a Type of Credit Score

There are multiple credit scores created by different credit bureaus. Equifax, Transunion, and Experian are the three national credit bureaus.

When you obtain your credit score directly from one of the national credit bureaus, this score is based on the info in that specific credit report but isn't necessarily your FICO score. For example, Equifax generates something known as the PLUS credit score.

The FICO score is a credit score produced using the criteria issued by Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). To receive this specific credit score, you'll need to make sure you request your FICO score. The following components influence your credit FICO score:

  • Loan and credit card payment history (35 percent of your FICO score)
  • The amounts you owe (30 percent of your FICO score)
  • Your credit history length (15 percent of your FICO score)
  • New credit accounts (10 percent of your FICO score)
  • The type of accounts on your credit report (10 percent of your FICO score)

Other Common Credit Scores

Another credit score that you may encounter is known as the VantageScore; it was produced as a joint effort by the three national credit bureaus. The VantageScore uses slightly different criteria to produce your credit score, and it's useful when generating a score for individuals with a limited credit history.

Which Credit Score Does a Lender Use?

The majority of lenders use your FICO score when deciding whether to approve a credit application. Or, the lender may combine credit scores from all three credit bureaus to calculate your score.
Before you apply for a loan at Clark County Credit Union, obtain a copy of your credit report from one of the national credit bureaus (you're allowed one free report each year from all three bureaus). Confirm that the report contains correct info and that the accounts on your report belong to you.

When it's time to apply, ask the lender how they determine your credit score. This will help you understand how your loan eligibility is determined.

Ready to explore your loan options? Contact CCCU to get started!