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, such as the VantageScore) 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 latest credit score:
1. Discriminatory Information
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. How Old You Are
The FICO score does not include your birth date. Other types of credit scores may consider your age, but FICO scores do not.
3. How Much You Make
Your FICO score will not mention your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed, or your employment history. Again, other types of credit scores and reports may take this information into account, but the FICO does not.
Lenders may consider this information when looking at your credit report, however, as they compare your current salary against your level of debt. They use this to decide whether or not you’ll be able to afford extra payments.
4. Your Location
You FICO score gives absolutely no consideration to where you live, or the cost of living in your area.
5. What You’re Paying In Interest
Your FICO score will not consider any specific interest rate being charged on any particular debt, whether it be a credit card or other loan account. So, if you find yourself paying a 400% interest rate with another lender — either due to perceived lack of creditworthiness, late payments, etc– it’s no different to FICO than a 4% interest rate you may also have.
6. Your Other Financial Obligations
The FICO score does not reflect any items reported as child or family support obligations, nor any rental agreements you may have.
7. How Often You Check Your Score
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. Many Credit Report Inquiries
There are certain types of inquiries the FICO score does not consider. For instance, it does not count any inquiries initiated by the consumer, such as times you’ve requested your own 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. Credit or Debt Counseling
Your FICO score will not mention if you are obtaining credit counseling of any kind.
Resource: Debt Consolidation vs Debt Settlement
So, rest assured that your FICO score does not contain irrelevant or discriminatory information. Now that you know what it does contain, you can start working to boost your score. The best first steps are to 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.