How Long Have Credit Scores Been Around?

 

We’ve been talking about credit scores and that’s been a big topic since about 2001. And you thought that people have been talking about credit scores for a lot longer than that. Well some people have, mainly creditors. Before 2001, the only folks who had access to your credit score were people like mortgage lenders, credit card companies and car salesman but they didn’t sell those credit scores to consumers.

 

And so as a result, occasionally, if you were buying a house, some mortgage broker would, you know, say “well I’m gonna tell you your credit score” as if it’s some sort of incredible secret and people were like, “oh thank you!”

 

What does that mean? In 2001, the state of California did us all a favor. They passed the law that said, “hey wait a minute – there’s this mysterious credit score thing going on and consumers deserve to know more about what that is.” And when they decided, the state of California legislature decided, that folks who live in California got to see their credit scores, the major credit score purveyors, the Fair Isaac company in particular – and we love you FICO – but they didn’t wanna share before. FICO decided to make that information available to everyone only at that point.

 

By the way, they’ve loved it ever since because they charge us all quite a bit for the privilege of having a look.