A derogatory term for a credit score that is not one of the FICO scores lenders pull when deciding whether to approve a loan application or extend credit. FAKO scores are also called “equivalency scores” or “educational scores” and are usually provided by free online credit scoring services. A FAKO score might give a prospective borrower a general idea of where they stand with lenders but may not be accurate enough to tell them whether they will get approved.


FAKO scores sometimes differ from FICO scores in their range of possible credit scores. A FAKO score might have a range of 360 to 840, while a FICO score has a range of 300 to 850. The vast majority of lenders use FICO scores, but a small percentage use the VantageScore, which weights the items in consumers’ credit reports somewhat differently but also has a score range of 300 to 850, like a FICO score.

Even knowing the exact credit score a lender would use if you applied for a loan will not tell you whether you will be approved if you apply because lending decisions also depend on factors such as how much someone is asking to borrow, collateral (if any), income and other debts.

Lenders typically use credit scores from Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, the three major credit reporting agencies. Each of these agencies calculates a consumer’s credit score differently depending on what is in the consumer’s credit file with that agency. On top of that, each agency might calculate a consumer’s credit score in a number of different ways depending on the type of loan the consumer is applying for. A consumer could have a different credit score with the same agency depending on whether he or she is applying for a credit card, an auto loan or a mortgage, or even starting a new service with the electric company. The only way to know the exact credit score a lender bases its decision on is to apply for the loan, but you shouldn’t apply for a loan or credit card you don’t need just to see your credit score.

  1. Credit Score

    A credit score is a number ranging from 300-850 that depicts ...
  2. Beacon Score

    The Beacon Score is a credit score generated by the Equifax Credit ...
  3. FICO (Fair Isaac)

    A software company that specializes in services for assessing ...
  4. VantageScore

    A consumer credit rating product developed by three credit rating ...
  5. Precision Score

    A number used by the TransUnion Credit Bureau to quantify the ...
  6. Prime Borrower

    A prime borrower is considered likely to make loan payments on ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Is It Worth Paying To Check Your Credit Score?

    Generally, a free credit report is all you need. If you've had some credit issues, it may be worth buying your credit score to get a finer level of detail.
  2. Personal Finance

    How High Is a 'Good' Credit Score?

    How high of a credit score do you need to get a home mortgage or buy a car? Read on for some actual numbers.
  3. Managing Wealth

    Can You Hit A Perfect Credit Score?

    Everyone wants a great credit score, but few know exactly how to achieve perfection. Find out how your credit score is kept and what it takes to reach a perfect 850 rating.
  4. Personal Finance

    Credit Score vs. Credit Report: Which Is Better?

    They sound alike, but can serve very different ends.
  5. Personal Finance

    How Bad Is My Credit Score?

    You've seen the number, but what does it mean? Here's how to assess your credit score and get to a better place if needed.
  6. Personal Finance

    The Dirty Secret About Your Credit Score

    The tier system of credit scores leaves borrowers with little wiggle room.
  7. Personal Finance

    Do You Understand Your Credit Score?

    Most Americans don't really understand their credit scores. Find out what you need to know.
  8. Personal Finance

    What Lenders Look at on Your Credit Report

    What do lenders consider when they look at your credit report? Well, a lot of things.
  9. Personal Finance

    New Credit Score Changes: Whom They Help, Whom They Hurt

    New credit scoring guidelines at VantageScore that incorporate trended data may impact your credit score in a big way.
  10. Personal Finance

    How To Overcome Bad Credit

    Some lenders can look overlook your credit score and assess other factors that fairly determine if you are a reasonable credit risk.
  1. Does a free credit report show your credit score?

    Find out how you can obtain your credit score, and find out whether your score is included in your free annual credit reports. Read Answer >>
  2. What's more important to lenders, my credit score or my credit report?

    Find out why lenders care more about your credit report than your credit score and why you should care more about your credit ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between a credit rating and a credit score?

    Learn about the differences between credit ratings and credit scores, and review how these expressions of creditworthiness ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center