Although not the only credit score in use, the FICO score is the best-known and most widely used credit score in the United States. Creditors use your FICO score (and other scores) to determine your eligibility for loans, credit cards and other types of credit. Employers will often request your credit score to ascertain how reliable an employee you might be, should they decide to hire you.
Your FICO credit score contains a host of broad information about your financial life, including your credit history, payment history, the amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, any new lines of credit you’ve recently opened and the types of credit you have used.
However, there are many things that are not reflected in your FICO score. The score only contains information proven to be an indicator of future credit performance.
Here are nine things your creditors will not be able to ascertain by pulling your FICO credit score:
1. Your FICO score contains no mention of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status. Federal law prohibits credit scoring from considering any information of this type. The law also prohibits consideration of any receipt of public assistance, and any mention of rights you have exercised under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
2. The FICO score does not reflect your age. Other types of credit scores may consider your age, but FICO scores do not.
3. Your FICO score will not mention your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or your employment history. Again, other types of credit scores may take this information into account; your FICO score does not.
Lenders may consider this information looking at your credit report however, as they compare your current salary against your level of debt, to decide whether or not you’ll be able to afford extra payments.
4. You FICO score gives no consideration to where you live.
5. Your FICO score will not consider any particular interest rate being charged on any particular card or account. So if you find yourself paying a 400% interest rate, it’s no different to the 4% interest rate you also have.
6. The FICO score does not reflect any items reported as child or family support obligations, or any rental agreements.
7. Your FICO will not reflect requests for your credit report. If you find yourself in need of checking your credit report often, visit our credit report and monitoring review page.
8. There are certain types of inquiries the FICO score does not consider. The FICO score does not count any inquiries initiated by the consumer, such as any times you’ve requested your credit report in order to check its accuracy.
Any inquiries made by a creditor to pre-approve you (also known as promotional inquiries) are not counted. Also, whenever one of your creditors requests your report to review an account you have with them (also known as administrative inquiries), such requests are not counted. Finally, should a request come from an employer or potential employer, such requests are not considered.
9. Your FICO score will not mention if you are obtaining credit counseling of any kind.
So, rest assured that your FICO score does not contain irrelevant or discriminatory information. And now that you know what it does contain, you can start working to boost your score: bring down credit card balances, and make payments on time.
A better score will be reflected with lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, and that means more money in your pocket.
Published or updated April 4, 2013.