MINNEAPOLIS—April 30, 2012—FICO Labs researchers have found that the number of consumers in the top FICO® Score range – 800-850 – is now at its highest level since October 2008, with 18.3 percent of consumers having FICO® Scores in this range.
However, the number of consumers with FICO® Scores between 700-799 has not rebounded, indicating that consumer credit health is not yet back to its pre-recession level. The percentage of consumers between 700-749 (15.5 percent) is the lowest that FICO has seen since the company began tracking this information in 2005. And the percentage of consumers falling between 750-799 (19.4 percent) is the lowest that FICO has seen since April 2009.
”There has been a clear shift,” said Rachel Bell of FICO Labs. “Many consumers have moved into the top tier of the FICO® Score range by redoubling their efforts to maintain an excellent credit profile. Other people have fallen into lower tiers, most likely due to the financial stress that many households have been feeling. Despite this shift, we continue to observe more than half of FICO® Scores in the U.S. are between 700-850, which means Americans have managed their credit well despite the economic downturn.”
FICO Labs found that 31.9 percent of Americans with FICO® Scores were in the 550-699 range. That is the most people with scores in that range since 2006. Interestingly, this increase in the number of consumers in lower tiers doesn’t hold true at the very bottom of the FICO® Score range. The percentage of consumers with FICO® Scores from 300-549 is 14.9 percent, which is the lowest percentage since 2006.
“One possible explanation for the decrease in the number of consumers in the very bottom tier of the FICO Score range is that lenders have written off a lot of bad debt and closed the riskiest credit accounts,” said Bell. “Some consumers who had multiple bad debts and delinquencies a few years ago are now able to move on, and their credit scores are starting to move into the 550-699 range.”
The research by FICO Labs was conducted on a national sample of consumer credit profiles as of October 2011, provided to FICO by Equifax. For more information, contact Jeff Scott for FICO at 408-884-4017 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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