FICO History

FICO is a publicly traded company (NYSE stock ticker FICO) that uses mathematical models to predict consumer behavior. It’s best know for the FICO score which is the most widely used personal credit score in the world.

FICO was founded in 1956 by an engineer (Bill Fair) and a mathematican (Earl Isaac) with an investment of only $400 each. It was originally called Fair, Isaac and Company and was headquartered in San Francisco’s financial district. In 1961 they relocated to San Rafael, California and now reside in the AT&T tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

In 1958 (two years after they’d founded the company) their released their first scoring system for American Investments, which was the only company out of the top 50 credit grantors to positively reply to their invitation to explain credit scoring in person.

In 1970 FICO was again at the forefront with their release of the first scoring system for a credit card for Connecticut Bank and Trust. 1987 saw FICO issue stock to the public for the first time (NASDAQ:FICI) which moved to NYSE:FICO in 1996.

Two years later in 1989 FICO released it’s first all purpose consumer score titled “BEACON score” through the credit bureau Equifax. In 1991 the other two main credit bureaus had their own branded FICO score’s available based on their data. TransUnion brought out the “Empirica” score and Experian brought out Experian/FICO Model.

To date 90% of lenders still use some variation of the FICO score when approving loans and a total of 100 billion scores have been sold worldwide.

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