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FICO credit score myths and misinformation

Rumor, misunderstanding, wives tales, voodoo, hooey, stupidity, herd-mentality, sloppy reporting and general silliness. Bunk, and actual proof to back up the debunking. Science, not middle ages-style myths, rumors and wives tales.

See many more on the new myths list.

  1. FALSE STATEMENT: The average FICO score is 678.

    Fair Isaac: "The average FICO score is not 678."

    The median FICO score is 723, according to Fair Isaac. They do not use the mean average in describing the FICO. 678 was Experian's PLUS score (PLUS is not a FICO score) average, at one time.

    See all the fun at Fake-O FICO Funk.

  2. DUBIOUS ADVICE: Keep your revolving account balances to 30 percent of your available credit.

    Fair Isaac: "For FICO High Achievers the ratio of revolving balances to credit limits is 7%, on average."

    Fair Isaac partner Suze Orman: "The FICO brain trust says there is no specific number that qualifies as a 'good' ratio, just that lower is always better."

  3. FALSE STATEMENT: FICO scores have been used since the 1950s.

    Fair Isaac was founded in the 50s, but the FICO score first appeared in 1989.

  4. FALSE STATEMENT: Length of time at present residence is a FICO score factor.

    Length of time at present residence is not a FICO score factor.



    Also, "Length of time at current residence."

  5. False statement: Length of employment is a FICO score factor.

    Fair Isaac: "What is not in your score: Your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history."

Other myths pages

Fair Isaac spokesman

CNN/Money (2005)

MSN Money