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myFICO, what is a good credit score? #FICOFriday

Fair Isaac, the FICO score company, has free information about what a good credit score is

| By Greg Fisher

An absolute notion of good credit (or bad) is, obviously, not easily defined. But that doesn't stop some from trying.

The question

Credit score company Fair Isaac repeats (and others repeat) this message:

Know your FICO scores, improve your credit score ratings, and save money at myFICO has free credit education information about how FICO scores work, what is a good credit score, and FICO credit score ranges.

See the source code of the page to view that actual message. It is the HTML description of the page, and shows up in social media syndication.

The answer (to be continued)

A heading on another page (perhaps written by a different person) is "What makes a 'good' FICO Score."

And, of course, philosophically, the omnipotent Scorekeeper does not put a number on it, placing the onus on the beholder: Lenders using credit scores in their decisions.

On the other hand, maybe this is just the old self-esteem thing. We don't want anybody to feel bad about themselves. Double-A baseball, wine and all that.

Objective statistics-- like the median, and a simple distribution-- would certainly be useful (if not ultimately so). That would change the conversation from an emotionally charged Good/Bad to a cold Above/Below average. End of discussion. New discussion.

But, elsewhere in FICOdom (and, perhaps written by a third), the Scorekeeper comes right out and boldly states that "660 - 719" is "good," and 720 and up is excellent! That's for some credit cards.

For residential mortgage loans, there is a 6-category chart with no such qualitative words (and it says nothing about anything under 620, if you want a line). That's for the American Dream.

Below that is a box that asks "How might a mortgage lender see me?," and answers that mortgage lenders often check "your" FICO score. An orange button says, "Buy now."

However, while you might click on that, the credit score model sold at myFICO is now FICO Score 8. And, the Equifax version of that model, for instance, is not Beacon 5.0 (a version designated by secondary mortgage market company Fannie Mae for use in mortgage lending decisions).

Downright complicated.

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