How your FICO® Score is calculated
A FICO® Score is a single number that gives an overall indication of your credit health. It helps lenders know how likely you are to pay bills on time based on your financial past. FICO®, a leading provider of credit scores, determines a score from your credit report information, how many times lenders have requested credit information about you, and your collections history, if any.
If you have a Sallie Mae private student loan, you may have access to your quarterly FICO® Score for free. You’ll also have access to the key factor(s) affecting your score and information to help you understand why monitoring your FICO® Score is important.
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FICO® Score FAQs
What is a FICO® Score?
FICO® Scores, the credit scores created by Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), are the most widely used credit scores in lending decisions. Lenders can request FICO® Scores from all three major credit reporting agencies.
FICO® Scores are based solely on information in consumer credit files maintained at the credit reporting agencies. Understanding your FICO® Score can help you better understand your credit risk and allow you to effectively manage your financial health. A good FICO® Score means better financial options for you.
What is a good FICO® Score?
The “score cutoff” is known as the point above which a lender would accept a new application for credit, but below which, the credit application would be denied. Since the score cutoff varies by lender, it’s hard to say what a good FICO® Score is outside the context of a particular lending decision.
What are the lowest and highest possible FICO® Scores?
The classic FICO® Scores in use today by the vast majority of lenders all fall within the 300-850 score range. This score range was introduced to establish an easy-to-understand, common frame of reference for lenders and consumers.
What are “key score factors"?
When a lender receives your FICO® Score, "key score factors" are also delivered, which are the top factors that affect the score. Addressing some or all of these key score factors can help you improve your financial health over time. Having a good FICO® Score can put you in a better position to qualify for credit or better terms in the future.
More Frequently Asked Questions about the FICO® Score (PDF)