One reason there are more consumers today with scores at the high and low ends of the 300-850® score range for FICO® Scores is that we have improved the FICO scoring models. The newest version — the FICO 8 Score — is a stronger predictor of future credit risk. Because it is better at separating future good risks from future bad risks, the FICO 8 score redistributes some of the middle of the score distribution curve more appropriately out to the lower and higher score ranges.
For example, a comparison of the FICO® 8 score to the prior FICO® score on recent data reveals an additional 2.2% of the population is now scoring between 300-499. At the other end of the scale, an additional 1.3 % of the population is scoring in the 800-850 score range. Note that these score distributions are based on the same data sample — in other words, these changes don’t reflect increases or decreases in consumer risk, they represent an increased precision in assessing the consumers’ risk.
The distribution changes produced by the updated score version are in line with what we historically see when comparing a newer FICO® Score version to the prior version on the same data sample.