Fact Checked

FICO Score 10 and FICO Score 10 T: How they may affect you

Woman sitting at her desk, reading on her laptop about the new FICO scoring modelsImage: Woman sitting at her desk, reading on her laptop about the new FICO scoring models
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Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the FICO® scores commonly used by U.S. lenders, launched two new versions of its credit scores in 2020.

The FICO® Score 10 and FICO® Score 10 T are designed to help lenders better reduce risk and loan defaults. FICO includes trended credit bureau data in its 10 T score to provide a more historical view of credit report data, such as how someone’s debt levels have changed over the past 24-plus months. FICO also flags certain consumers who apply for personal loans, which are considered riskier than other types of loans because they generally aren’t secured by collateral.

What does this mean for your credit scores? It depends. Under the FICO Score 10 T, your score could be lower if you shift to carrying balances on your accounts, since this model tracks your debt levels over time.

Keep in mind that not everyone uses the same credit-scoring models. For example, when you view your credit scores on Credit Karma, you’re seeing your VantageScore® 3.0 scores from TransUnion and Equifax. This means that this FICO scoring model doesn’t affect the credit scores you see on Credit Karma.

Lenders are generally able to choose which version of FICO score or VantageScore they use.

What can you do? It’s important to work on building your credit, no matter what score a lender is using. Both the FICO and VantageScore models place importance on making on-time payments and keeping credit utilization low. You typically also want to limit the number of credit accounts you open in a short period of time, especially if you don’t have a long credit history.

About the author: Paris Ward is a content strategist at Credit Karma, providing readers with the latest news that will aid their financial progress. She has more than a decade of experience as a writer and editor and holds a bachelor’s… Read more.