What happened to FICO 08?

Well, it’s 09. Makes me wonder what happened to FICO 08. Reminds me of the nearby dirt lot with a weary-looking sign that reads “Luxury Condos – Available Spring 2006.”

Here’s the background: In 2007, Fair Isaac announced that they were reworking the math on their scoring model to be more lenient on people who make occasional financial mistakes, but harder on those who make repeat mistakes. The new formula was also supposed to address the issue of “piggybacking.” Piggybacking is a form of fraud perpetrated by people looking to improve their credit standing by unscrupulously using the role as authorized user to piggyback on a stranger’s good credit.

Apparently, some people were unhappy that the new formula would also stop honest consumers from getting credit for being an authorized user on another person’s account. An example of a credible use for this practice would be when a parent helps their child to establish a good credit history by adding him or her to an existing account as an authorized user.

The debate held things up. However, according to VideoCreditScore.com, Fair Isaac believes that they can figure out when someone is trying to piggyback on someone else’s credit score and will not allow those types of authorized users to benefit. That way, they can address the issue of piggybacking without yanking all authorized user entries. For more on this, check out this video titled FICO 08 Update.

In addition to the piggybacking issue, there has been some legal action between Fair Isaac and the bureaus. Fair Isaac claims that the VantageScore (created by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) harms the FICO brand.

So, where does all this leave FICO 08? I found this explanation following a Fair Isaac press release: Fair Isaac is working with the credit reporting agencies to make the FICO® 08 score generally available to lenders as soon as possible. It is scheduled to be available at TransUnion for customer testing by the end of January 2009, and at Equifax by second quarter 2009. For information on availability at Experian, please contact your Experian representative.

Wonder if they'll change the name to FICO 09...


Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.