FICO stands for Fair, Isaac, and Company.  It first introduced the FICO model to evaluate a person’s credit worthiness, the likelihood that a person will pay his or her debts.

The FICO model is now widely used by the vast majority of banks and credit grantors, and is based on consumer credit files of the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.  Because a consumer’s credit file may contain different information at each of the bureaus, FICO scores can vary depending on which bureau provides the information to FICO to generate the score.