Types of FICO Scores and What They Mean

8 Types of FICO Scores and What They Mean

What is one type of FICO Score version and what is it mainly used for?

To help you understand the different varieties of FICO Scores and the purposes of each, we asked Finance experts and business leaders this question for their best insights.


But first, what is a FICO Score?

The FICO score was introduced in the late 1980s and was designed to help banks and other lenders make a quick decision on the applicant’s creditworthiness. As the FICO score grew in acceptance as a reliable way to evaluate consumers, there became a need for specific industries to have tailored FICO scores. Creditors wanted FICO scores tailored to lending for auto loans, credit cards, mortgages, and other industries. Currently, 16 different versions of the FICO score are used to help creditors make specific decisions in specific industries.

Robert Bonavito, Robert A. Bonavito, CPA, A Professional Corporation


So, what are the types of FICO Scores and what are they mainly used for?

From FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) to FICO Score 10T, there are several types of FICO scores to familiarize yourself with as a business owner. 

Here are eight FICO Scores and what they are used for:

  • FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS)
  • FICO Score 2, 4, 5
  • FICO Score 9
  • FICO Score 5 
  • FICO Score 8
  • FICO Score 10T

Types of FICO Scores and What They Mean


FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS)

The FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) is a credit score business owners need to know if they are going to apply for a business loan from a bank or via the Small Business Administration.

The FICO Small Business Scoring Service is the credit score that lenders check to determine if your business qualifies for a small business loan. Scores range from 0 to 300 and dictate if your company is creditworthy. Banks will use the FICO SBSS along with your personal FICO score.

Devin Schumacher, SERP


Fico Scores 2, 4, 5

FICO Scores 2, 4, and 5, also known as the classic FICO Scores, are primarily evaluated by lenders offering mortgages known as conforming loans. Focusing on these scoring versions is crucial when you are applying for a home loan or planning to refinance your mortgage in the next three to six months. Experian uses the FICO Score 2 version, TransUnion uses FICO Score 4 version, and Equifax uses version 5.

Nunzio Ross, Majesty Coffee


Fico Score 9

The FICO Score is a way to measure the creditworthiness by giving lenders an idea of whether an individual is likely to pay back debts on time and with minimal interference from creditors.

The FICO Score ranges from 300 to 850. The score has no bearing on whether or to what extent you can obtain credit – it only helps lenders predict your likelihood of paying back debts and maintaining good credit history. Different FICO Score versions include different metrics to give deeper insights. For example, FICO Score 9 includes medical collections and renter history which can be useful for applicants with limited credit history.

Soumya Mohan, Poised


FICO Score 5 

It is a FICO score model used by mortgage and auto-loan lenders. It considers the payment history, credit history length, credit mix, new credits, and accounts. It also includes medical, residential, and employment history. As a number of factors are considered in this score, mortgage lenders and banks rely on this score more. Its stricter nature also plays a role here. This is because mortgage or auto loans are larger and lenders need assurance that the loan will be paid back.

Samantha Odo, Precondo


FICO Score 8

A type of FICO Score version is the FICO Score 8. It is one of the most utilized versions by all three of the major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Every consumer who uses credit, or wants to get credit, has a credit score that rates their credit risk. Whenever an application is made to attain credit, the lender checks that person’s credit rating through the credit reporting companies that use the FICO scoring system. Lenders and creditors will decide whether to loan you money and charge interest rates relying on a range of different factors, but the FICO Score 8 is widely used as a trustworthy source of the credit assessment.

The FICO Score 8 is mainly used by credit card issuers and lenders to help determine the creditworthiness of potential borrowers (the likelihood of whether a borrower will pay back a loan).

Maneesh Sharma, Donorbox


FICO Score 10T

One type of FICO score version is FICO Score 10T, which specifically uses trended data. This enhanced method of credit reporting permits credit scoring software to make predictions based on behavioral patterns of credit card users. For example, trended data enables comparisons between those who pay bills one of two ways: in full and only the bare minimum. 10T uses the same core analytical framework as FICO Score 10, only with the addition of trended data.

Sheila Busheri, Universal Diagnostic Laboratories



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