As a follow up to our previous post (FICO Scores and FAKO Scores) where we chatted about the difficulty consumers have distinguishing between authentic FICO scores and the scores peddled by the bureaus and their offshoots, we thought it would be useful to bring up another score; one that is a legitimate FICO score, is in common use, and yet may differ from the FICO scores you can buy from MyFICO.com.
The FICO Auto Industry Option Score
When a car dealer or auto finance company runs your credit, they pull a unique version of the FICO score, one that has been created just for them by Fair Isaac. This is usually called the, “FICO Auto Industry Option Score”, or more concisely, the “Auto Option Score”. The Auto Option Score is a version of the Classic FICO score (the one you can buy at MyFICO) with additional weight put on your auto loan history.
As with their other products, Fair Isaac does not reveal the formula, but we speculate that the Auto Option Score (aside from putting extra weight on your auto history) also shifts extra weight to your other non-auto installment loans, and possibly even considers your revolving balances in a different way from Classic FICO; we have seen several cases recently where the Auto Option Score has varied from the Classic FICO – where there is no auto history at all.
The Auto Option Score is yet another score that affects your life that you do not have access too. It is not as bad as not having access to your Experian FICO score, but unfortunate nevertheless. Only the auto industry has access to these scores. So what does it mean to you?
In our opinion it is no big deal. If you are part of the Sky Blue Credit Repair program, everything we do is designed to improve your FICO score. Whatever we do (or ask you to do) will help your case whether you are planning to buy a car or a home. Focus on the basics of credit improvement and you will be fine. Whatever helps your Classic FICO will help your Auto Option Score.