that is short for F
saac and Co
mpany. It is a credit rating
score created by a financial company called Fair, Isaac
(they partner with Equifax
, who is better known).
FICO scores are also called by names (BEACON®, EMPIRICA®, Isaac Risk Model) that companies like Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian sell/use.
The FICO web site (http://www.myfico.com) talks a lot about "how" the score is calculated, lets you buy it, etc. Basically, it boils down to this:
- Have you recently, and royally, screwed up financially? (e.g. declaring bankruptcy)
- Are you currently over xxx days late on a bill (60, 90, 180)
- Do you habitually pay your bills late?
- How big is the sum of your credit limits, and how much of those credit limits is still available?
- Are there statistics about you that make you look less "stable"? (e.g. you haven't lived in any one place for any significant amount of time)
(...and so on)
You can order your very own FICO score for about a dozen bucks....or you can apply for a loan at a bank where you are friendly with the loan officer and can get them to let you know what the score was (I don't believe they are supossed to just tell you this, however).
You can get the information that goes into the FICO score by being rejected for some loan or credit card...most of the time if you're rejected, you have a month or two to ask the rejector for a credit report (which will be created by Equifax or someone like that).