New FICO Credit Scoring System

Credit Score

110 million consumers could see their credit scores change.

Folks who are struggling to pay off their debt could see lower FICO credit scores in their future, especially if they miss payments.

FICO 10 is a new model from Fair Isaac Corp., the company behind the popular FICO credit score. Starting, January 23, 2020, consumers’ debt levels will factor into their credit score.

Under the new credit score model, FICO estimates that about 110 million consumers will see a change to their score. Most people will see less than a 20 point swing in either direction. Roughly 40 million will see a shift upward over 20 points and another 40 million will see a shift downward.

Those who fall behind on their loan payments are more likely see the drop in their score, and FICO plans to flag consumers who sign up for personal loans, which are generally considered more risky since these are unsecured and typically do not require collateral like a car or a house.

The new scoring model will also likely create a wider gap between those who are considered good credit risks and those who are not. Consumers who already have good credit, and who continue to whittle down their already existing loans and make on-time payments will see higher scores. But those who score below 600 will see bigger dips in their scores under the new model.