How FICO Makes Money

FICO Model

Fair Isaac Corporation still has ownership over the FICO model. Every time a lender requests a FICO score from a bureau, the bureau has to pay Fair Isaac to use the FICO model. Although the credit bureaus provide a FICO score to lenders, Equifax is the only bureau that sells this score directly to consumers.

Other Models

To limit the amount of money a bureau has to pay Fair Isaac, most bureaus have created their own credit scoring model. Sometimes a consumer will purchase the Plus Score by Experian or the TrueCredit score by TransUnion and think it is the FICO score. In reality these scores are very different from the FICO score and can vary by 100 points of your actual FICO score. Do not fall into this common pitfall and know what score you are purchasing.