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Valentines Day, 2011 - Fair Isaac on a FICO score range and scale

Fair Isaac says a FICO scale is 300-850. Court document says a range is otherwise - A report starting 2/14/11

Updated | By Greg Fisher

Fair Isaac, the FICO credit score company, claims that FICO scores' scales range from 300 to 850.

However, in the July, 2009 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER from a Fair Isaac lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Anne D. Montgomery wrote: "Fair Isaac argues in response that the term 300-850 is not the 'actual scoring range for any of [Fair Isaac's] classic FICO credit scores. The actual scoring range for the first FICO score developed for Trans Union is 397-871, for Experian is 368-839, and for Equifax is 407- 829. Every version of these scores has a different range—none of which is 300-850.'"

In 2010, the judge wrote, "Second, the argument that '300-850' is suggestive rather than descriptive because the actual scoring range for some Fair Isaac products goes beyond 300-850 is equally unpersuasive."

myFICO.com (Fair Isaac) says 300-850, Wikipedia says it (see Groundhog Day), and credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion say it. Comically, Experian refers to a 350-850 scale (that would make its range 500), but Experian doesn't count.

In the spring of 2002, in a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston publication, William N. Lund, the head of the Maine Office of Consumer Credit Regulation wrote

My files contain the statements of four different experts who describe the range of scores in the basic Fair Isaac (FICO) model as 300 to 900, 400 to 900, 336 to 843, and 395 to 848. If product offerings are such that the “experts” can’t agree on basic information, how can consumers be expected to gain a meaningful understanding of the scoring process and its impact?

Also, see What score? The myFICO FICO credit score based on Equifax data.