In my files today, I came across some FICO scores I ordered back in 2008 when you could still buy all three agency FICOs thru MyFICO.com. (Experian stopped selling FICOs to the public in 2009.)
My Experian FICO was 837. At the time, I didn't understand how unusual it was to be just 13 points from the maximum 850.
I came across this article saying the highest FICO score of anyone in the U.S. as of August 2011 is 834. It was written by John Ulzheimer, who formerly worked at FICO and is an expert on credit score issues. But he doesn't say where he got this info from.
This got me to thinking: what are the highest FICO scores ever reported here?
I found this Nov 2011 post from psychic on this forum where his signature shows an Experian FICO of 842. Maybe we should tell John Ulzheimer that we have a new national FICO champion on this board.
Sadly, my FICO is much lower today. But it was a pleasant surprise to come across those old reports.
Below is a summary of my 2008 Experian credit report. My other 2008 scores were EQ 809 and TU 796.
FICO score: 837 (April 25, 2008)
Total accounts: 10
___4 open credit cards
___5 closed credit cards
___1 closed mortgage
Oldest account: 30 years
Average age of accounts: 17 years
Total late payments: 0
Total credit line of open accounts: $39,100
Total current balance: $1115
Accounts with current balance: 2
___$488 on card with 10,300 credit line (5% utilization)
___$627 on card with 14,300 credit line (4% utilization)
Accounts opened in past year: 0
Inquiries in past year: 0
Public records: 0
Actually, member bulbisaur reported an 844 Experian score in a February 2009 post:
Many thanks for your reply. I am awestruck and blown away by your amazing FICO achievement.
I read an article by a loan officer who said in his long career working with thousands of people he never saw a FICO over 825. Other sources have said any score over 835 is purely theoretical and does not exist in the real world. So we now have proof that such scores really do exist.
Are you familiar with John Ulzheimer who wrote the article linked above? He is a former employee of both FICO and Equifax. I have a book he wrote about credit scores. Do you have any idea where he could have gotten his information about 834 being the highest score of anyone in the U.S.
If it's not being too forward, would you mind sharing your credit profile similar to what I gave above and bulbisaur gave on his post you linked to? It's very instructive to see what kind of credit profile rates the historically high scores that you and bulbisaur have achieved.
I'm not psychic (sorry, had to throw that out), but the max value differs across each CRA and across each FICO model.
When you say the max FICO value differs among CRAs and models, do you mean the actual upper score range differs? Or do you mean only that the practical, real world maximum score differs?
I have a strong feeling that whatever model Experian was using in 2008, it resulted in higher scores than their current model. I get my Experian FICO each month from the only source I know of that makes it available to consumers: the PSECU credit union which offers it as a free benefit to members. My current score from Experian/PSECU is 798, but my credit profile is not much different than it was in 2008 when my Experian FICO was 837.
My paid off mortgage account will have been closed for 10 years as of Feb 2012. When it drops off, I am curious to see what effect it will have on my score. Anyone have experience with this?
Max value is the max amount in the score range. I don't know what those values are, but I know they differ. There are some posters in here that posted those score ranges as found on their lender's tri-merge reports if wanting exact figures. The max value has implications because John U. might be referring to just one CRA and FICO version, as opposed to all.
The PSECU FICO is the same version as found on here back in the day and is still used by almost all lenders today. It hasn't changed...just like the EQ FICO.
I'm not qualified to talk about 800+ FICOs because I don't think I ever hit there, but came close once. At that level, the slightest changes can impact score, namely CC util. Sorry about the mortgage. With luck, maybe it'll continue to report beyond 10 years. I had a couple of TLs do that.
The article is mostly correct. The big problem is that he doesn't distinguish which FICO score maxes out at 834. There are about 50 different FICO scores from three different CRAs including 21 from TU. I suppose he was referring to the scores used for a mortgage in the US at present: EQ Beacon 5.0, TU Classic 04, and EX FICO II.
834 is exactly the average of the maximum possible score of those scores.
An EX FICO II, which used to be offered here, can actually reach that reported 842. That is not possible with either of the other two scores. You can reach that with the TU Classic 98 offered here.
Many thanks for that important info.
Whenever I read about FICO scores, they are always referred to as having an upper range of 850. I'm sure many people would be surprised to learn that some FICO score models actually have a lower maximum range.
I've been trying to learn about the mysterious world of FICO scoring. This is another one of those FICO curiosities to add to my list.
Are those lower maximum score ranges you refer to publically disclosed? Are you aware of what the less-than-850 maximum scores are for some FICO models, or are they trade secrets?
I just read John Ulzheimer's piece. I'm really not very familiar with him, or any of his published articles, so I can't speculate on the source from which he derived his information.
I retrieved data from my January 2009 credit reports (both FICO and annualcreditreport.com). Here's my Experian credit summary:
FICO Score: 842 (January 17, 2009)
Total Accounts: 24
___8 open credit cards
___16 closed credit cards
___0 installment accounts
Oldest account: 30 years, 2 months
Average age of accounts: 15 years
Total late payments: 0
Total credit line of open accounts: $138,350
Total current balance: $7
Accounts with current balance: $7 on a card with a $21,400 credit limit.
Accounts opened in the past year: 0
Inquiries in the past year: 0
Public records: 0
EDIT: Corrected spelling error.
Many thanks for your reply.
Below is a comparison of our profiles.
They are very similar. You had more accounts and higher credit limits, but those don't seem to have much effect on scores if utilization is kept low.
Our scores were only 5 points apart. The difference may be because you had 1 account with a balance, but I had 2.
I've seen posts saying the best score results from having only one card with a balance, with utilization on that card below 9%.
I'm going to try that and see what happens to my score.
Date: YOU: 2009 ME: 2008
Experian FICO score: YOU: 842 ME: 837
Open/Total accounts: YOU: 8 / 24 ME: 4 / 10
Oldest account: YOU: 30 years ME: 30 years
Average age of accounts: YOU: 15 years ME: 17 years
Total credit line of open accnts: YOU: 138,350 ME: 39,100
Accounts with current balance: YOU: 1 ME: 2
Total current balance: YOU: 7 ME: 1115
Utilization: YOU: 1% ME: 3%
(Everything else is the same)