Your FICO® Score

Learn why a FICO® Score is important to lenders and how a strong score can be good for your financial future.

How your FICO® Score is calculated

A FICO® Score is a three-digit number calculated from a consumer reporting agency’s credit report at a particular point in time. It summarizes information in your credit report into a single number that lenders can use to assess your credit risk quickly, consistently, objectively, and fairly. Lenders use your FICO® Score to estimate your credit risk—how likely you are to pay your credit obligations as agreed. It also helps you get credit based on your actual borrowing and repayment history.

If you have a Sallie Mae private student loan, you may have access to your monthly FICO® Score for freefootnote 1. You’ll also have access to the key factor(s) affecting your score and information to help you understand why knowing your FICO® Score is important.

Log in to see your monthly FICO® Credit Score for free.

Here’s what makes up your FICO® Score:

  • Payment History 35%
    Whether you've paid past credit accounts on time
  • Amounts owed 30%
    The amount of credit and loans you're using
  • Length of credit history 15%
    How long you've had credit
  • New credit 10%
    Frequency of credit inquires and new account openings
  • Credit mix 10%
    The mix of your credit, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, and mortgage loans

Learn more about what goes into your FICO® Score.

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.

The Understanding Credit Guide will help you learn more about what credit is, why it is important, and how to responsibly manage your credit health.

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

Related topics

footnote 1. Borrowers and cosigners with an available FICO® Score and a Sallie Mae-serviced loan with a current balance greater than $0, may receive their score monthly after the first loan disbursement. The FICO® Score provided to you is the FICO® Score 8 based on TransUnion data. FICO® Scores and associated educational content are provided solely for your own non-commercial personal review, use and benefit. This benefit may change or end in the future. FICO® is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries. 

footnote Sallie Mae Bank and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Sallie Mae Bank and Fair Isaac do not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating.

footnote © 2021 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved.