Maintaining a good credit score is a tough task that takes time, attention, and diligence on the part of the consumer. Most Americans don’t even know their credit score, much less what it means or how it is calculated. Consumer groups and government agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are trying to demystify credit reports and credit scores for the general public, but unfortunately, the credit reporting industry is, perhaps intentionally, making credit scores more confusing.
FICO scores have been the credit industry standard for years, ranging from 300 up to 850. When lenders talk about your credit score, it is likely they are referring to your FICO score. Recently, the Fair Isaac Corporation, which produces the FICO score, touted that the number of consumers in the top tier of credit scores has increased, and the number in the bottom tier has decreased. This sounds like really great news until Ann Carrns of the New York Times took a closer look.
As it turns out, the numbers they were touting were not based on the FICO score but rather a new-and-improved FICO score, FICO 8. FICO 8 is a new formula used to calculate that all-important credit score which can mean the difference between getting approved for a higher amount on a car loan or getting a lower interest rate. Fair Isaac Corporation will disclose that over 76,000 creditors are using FICO 8, but they would not say how many creditors are using the older FICO score model or how a consumer can find out which model a particular creditor is using. Even more frustrating, the FICO 8 credit score is not available for purchase from Fair Isaac Corporation, so consumers are left in the dark as far as their FICO 8 score is concerned.
I’ve been writing about the credit industry and how it relates to the auto industry for a while now, and this is one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever heard. Through this blog, we are trying to simplify the car buying process and give our readers the most basic information that every consumer needs to know to improve their credit and get the best rates on an auto loan. When it comes to credit scores, we often tell people to stick with the original and the industry standard, their FICO score. Now, even that most basic tip has been complicated with the old model FICO score vs. the FICO 8 model. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has promised that they will be closely monitoring the credit reporting industry, and I sincerely hope that they crack down on this nonsense. One last message to FICO: Your actions are confusing consumers and making credit way too complicated. Please stop.
No matter if you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit, Approved Loan Store wants to help you get into the car you want at terms you can afford! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news and consumer alerts by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook, following Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribing to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!