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What Is a FICO Auto Score?

By Jacinta Sherris
fico auto score

A FICO® auto score is a type of credit score that emphasizes your past auto loan payments. 

Auto-industry lenders typically look into your FICO auto score to understand how responsible you’ve been with car payments and whether you’re a trustworthy candidate for credit. Many lenders will use your FICO® auto score to help them determine if they should approve you for a loan. 

Here’s your guide on what is a FICO auto score and an auto loan credit report. 

How does a FICO auto score work?

FICO is one of the major credit rating bureaus that collects data and provides credit scores. It determines your credit score based on the following factors. 

  • Payment history: 35%
  • Credit utilization rate: 30%
  • Length of credit history: 15%
  • Mix of credit: 10%
  • New credit: 10%

FICO first calculates your traditional credit score and adjusts the calculation based on auto-industry-specific details. FICO will give more weight to your past auto loan payments – including whether you’ve paid them on time or not. From there, they’ll determine your unique FICO auto score – which typically ranges on a scale from 250 to 900. 

Still have questions? Not to worry. We’re answering the top questions on FICO auto scores and car loan credit reports. 

How do I find out my FICO auto score?

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months, which is accessible through AnnualCreditReport.com. However, this free service only guarantees access to regular credit scores, which means you’ll have to go out of your way to review your FICO auto score.

Oftentimes, you’ll have to purchase your auto loan credit report to view your FICO auto score. You should be able to find your credit reports from myFICO.

Which FICO score do car dealerships use?

Car dealerships may look into either or both your regular FICO credit report and your FICO auto score. 

What is the FICO auto score range?

FICO auto scores range on a scale from 250 to 900. 

What is a good FICO auto score?

Many lenders consider any credit score above 700 or higher to be a good score. However, exact figures can vary according to different lenders.

Do you need a FICO auto score to buy a car?

Some lenders will only accept a specialized credit score, such as a FICO auto score. Other lenders may be more lenient and only look at your regular credit score. Contact your desired lender to ask them about their specific credit score requirements. 

Things to consider with FICO auto score 

Here are some key points to FICO auto scores. 

Your base score still matters

FICO auto scores are derived from your base credit score. Although auto loan payment history matters more on your FICO auto score, many other traditional factors will still play a role. 

If you’re not sure where your credit score is at, or you’re looking for ways to improve it – make sure to consider MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus membership. It’s a sound way to gain access to credit-monitoring tools, personalized tips, and even a Credit Builder Plus loan to help you boost your score. Learn more here

A good credit score isn’t always clear

Most lenders consider any figure above 700 to constitute a good credit score. However, some lenders may require a higher amount. The best way to know is to get in touch with the specific lender you’re planning on working with. 

Credit utilization rate 

Most lenders want to know you’re responsible with your credit accounts. This is best translated through your credit utilization rate. Ideally, you want to keep your credit utilization rate at or below 30% to keep your base credit score and FICO auto score healthy. 

Mistakes can happen 

It’s not uncommon for people to find mistakes or incorrect information listed on their credit reports. This holds for auto credit reports as well. Make sure to double-check that all the information is correct. If not, get in touch with the credit bureau and file a dispute. 

You can improve your FICO auto score

Even if you have a couple of derogatory marks or late payments on your auto loan credit report, you can still improve your FICO auto score with help from MoneyLion. Our Credit Builder Loans help you improve your credit score over 12 months with monthly credit bureau reporting and expert tips to increase your credit score.

Advantages of a FICO auto score

FICO auto scores are a great way for auto-industry-specific lenders to understand how trustworthy you are when it comes to managing car payments. Even if you’ve lacked in other credit areas but you managed to stay on top of your auto payments, then your FICO auto score may be higher than your base score. 

Disadvantages of a FICO auto score

If you’ve fallen behind on auto payments, you may find your FICO auto score is lower than your base score. If this is the case, you’ll want to improve your FICO auto score or work with a lender that emphasizes your base score.  

FICO auto score vs regular FICO score

FICO auto scores are ultimately derived from your regular FICO score. The main difference is that FICO adjusts the calculation based on auto-industry-specific details. In other words, your auto loan payment history will weigh more heavily on your FICO auto score than your regular FICO score. 

However, the same factors that influence your regular FICO score, including credit utilization rate, overall payment history, and more, will still affect your FICO auto score. 

Boost your FICO auto score with MoneyLion

MoneyLion’s Credit Builder loan is designed to help you boost your overall credit score and qualify for better auto loan rates. There’s no credit check and you’ll have access to a portion of your funds upfront, unlike other credit building programs.

MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Loan also comes with progress reports, credit monitoring tools, personalized tips, and more. Plus, more than half of all MoneyLion members have been able to raise their credit scores by over 42 points in just 60 days!

Download the MoneyLion app and find out how we can help build your best financial future!

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