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How much do FICO® Scores change over time?

- Posted by Tom Quinn, FICO® Score Product Manager

There has been a lot of focus on the changing FICO® Score distribution recently. The topic that naturally goes hand-in-hand with this is score migration: In other words, how much do individual borrowers' scores change over time.

Every time the FICO® Score is requested, it is calculated based on the most recent information present on the consumer’s credit report at that particular nanosecond.  A recently reported substantial change in consumer credit behavior (such as the new posting of a recent missed payment) will likely change the score and lenders benefit from having access to that fresher score.

We’ve studied score migration several times since FICO® Scores were introduced in 1989.  When evaluating broad representative samples, we consistently see that about 25% of FICO scores changed by more than 20 points over the preceding quarter, 35% changed over the prior two quarters and close to 45% changed by more than 20 points over the preceding three quarters.

Score Changes Over Time


In today’s more challenging economic conditions, we recommend lenders pull scores on their customers more frequently, in order to identify those consumers most likely at risk before it is too late to take action.

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