Your credit score plays the most important role in determining whether your loan application will be accepted by the lender or not. If you already fulfill the eligibility criteria for a loan, then it is your credit score that can virtually make or break the deal for you.
There are a number of major lending organizations including Equifax, Experian, and FICO.
In this article, we will take a look at the two most important frameworks used for credit score calculation by Equifax and FICO. We will also explain what a credit score is and how it is calculated.
To put it simply, your credit score is a numerical expression of your creditworthiness and the likelihood of repaying a credit that is issued to you. This numerical expression is calculated through complex formulas that take into account your past track record, current assets, and financial stability.
Banks and other credit lending organizations source data from different financial exchanges and calculate an applicant’s credit score using different formulas. Equifax and FICO are two such popular and widely used formulas.
These scores are usually referred to as the Equifax score and the FICO score.
Factors to Consider
Any credit score formula takes into consideration a number of factors. Though a majority of formulas consider similar factors, there are also some differences which often reflects through wide variations in the end score for the same person.
FICO takes into account the payment history of the applicant as the most important factor for calculating a credit score. It is based on how frequently a borrower is able to pay the bills on time and has a 35% weightage in the FICO score.
Amounts owed by the applicant add another 30% to the credit score. Length of credit history, credit mix accounts, and new credit, are other factors that are considered for the final credit score.
For Equifax, most of the factors are the same but the formula is completely different.
A higher Equifax score, in general, corresponds to a higher FICO score as well. However, it is not true for 100% of all cases.
The Difference in Credit Score Range
The Equifax formula gives output in the form of credit scores between 280 to 850. The higher the Equifax score of an applicant, the lower the credit risk. In other words, applications with a higher Equifax score are more likely to be accepted.
The FICO credit score lies between the numerical range of 300 to 850. A higher FICO score indicates a lower credit risk, and applications with a higher FICO score are more likely to be accepted.
Pros & Cons
Take a look at the pros and cons for FICO and Equifax.
FICO takes an overly objective and unidirectional approach towards a calculation credit score. It does not leave any scope for applying discretion on a case by case basis.
This is the one and only drawback of the FICO credit scores. While you do get a chance to explain your position during the loan application, most lending organizations go by the FICO score strictly.
As a result of this, a low FICO score can break the deal for you entirely.
The advantage of Equifax is that it offers detailed credit reports that are also easy to read. It not only gives an applicant a number or a badge in the form of the credit score but also gives deeper insights into his or her spending and financial habits.
Having said this, many lenders still look for a high score whether it is FICO or Equifax.
The Bottom Line
No matter which method your lenders use for credit score calculations, it is extremely important to keep your score high.
If you find out that your Equifax credit score is considerably higher than the FICO score, you should search and find lenders who prioritize Equifax scores. We wish you all the best for your upcoming loan applications.