How are FICO® Scores and iPhones alike?
Speaking with my mother frequently provides me with inspiration on how to explain FICO® Scores to people who are not as familiar with it as I am. In a recent conversation, my mom mentioned that she saw FICO on the news and the story was related to our newest scoring model, with a headline that the newest FICO® Score version could result in consumer scores changing. During our call, my mother asserted that she checked her FICO® Score at her credit union and that it hadn't changed. She was satisfied with this conclusion, but I was not and was eager to share more about the impact of a new FICO® Score version.
When a new iPhone is released, and there's a significant improvement in the camera – that doesn't mean the iPhone in your pocket will also have that feature. You have to actively switch to a new model. The same rings true with FICO® Scores. If you want to see your FICO® Score calculated on the newest model – you'll have to get it from a source that has switched to the newest version.
Now, you may be thinking, there are some iPhone features that can be upgraded with operating system updates. This is also true for FICO® Scores. When underlying data at the credit bureaus changes – for example, certain types of judgments were no longer reported – all FICO® Score versions were impacted. That's because that data (similar to the iPhone operating system) was changed and so the inputs to the FICO® Score changed.
But don't worry! Your "older" iPhone still works. Some people are early adopters, some are fast followers, and some are in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mode when it comes to new technology. Lenders fall into these categories as well – for lots of reasons – when it comes to the newest FICO® Score adoption. Whichever FICO® Score version you have access to – from your bank, credit union, or any other source is accurate and working still. The important thing is that you keep track of the data within your credit report and continue with positive credit behaviors.