- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

FICO Risk Factor Reason Codes

When you apply for a loan or a credit card, the lender will run a credit report check on you to determine your credit worthiness. If they decide that you’re too great a risk for a loan or credit card, they’ll send you a letter in the mail letting you know that you’ve been rejected.

On the letter, they’ll list the bureau they pulled your credit report from (Equifax, TransUnion or Experian) as well as the risk factor reason codes for the risks you pose. The risk codes will be listed in the order of importance, so the higher up on the list in your letter, the more significant it is.

Ever curious what all the reason codes are? I was… so I did some digging. Here’s a list of all the reason codes as well as the number for each bureau.

EQ stands for Equifax, TU stands for TransUnion, and EX stands for Experian.

Risk Reasons EQ TU EX
Amount owed on accounts is too high 1 1 1
Level of delinquency on accounts 2 2 2
Too few bank revolving accounts 3 N/A 3
Too many bank or national revolving accounts 4 N/A 4
Too many accounts with balances 5 5 5
Too many consumer finance company accounts 6 6 6
Account payment history is too new to rate 7 7 7
Too many recent inquiries last 12 months 8 8 8
Too many accounts recently opened 9 9 9
Proportion of balances to credit limits is too high on
bank revolving or other revolving accounts
10 10 10
Amount owed on revolving accounts is too high 11 11 11
Length of time revolving accounts have been established 12 12 12
Time since delinquency is too recent or unknown 13 13 13
Length of time accounts have been established 14 14 14
Lack of recent bank revolving information 15 15 15
Lack of recent revolving account information 16 16 16
No recent non-mortgage balance information 17 17 17
Number of accounts with delinquency 18 18 18
Date of last inquiry too recent N/A 19 N/A
Too few accounts currently paid as agreed 19 27 19
Length of time since derogatory public record
or collection is too short
20 20 20
Amount past due on accounts 21 21 21
Serious delinquency, derogatory public record or collection filed 22 22 22
Number of bank or national revolving accounts with balances 23 N/A 23
No recent revolving balances 24 24 24
Number of revolving accounts 26 N/A 26
Number of established accounts 28 28 28
No recent bankcard balances N/A 29 29
Time since most recent account opening too short 30 30 30
Too few accounts with recent payment information 31 N/A 31
Lack of recent installment loan information 32 4 32
Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts is too high 33 3 33
Amount owed on delinquent accounts 34 31 34
Serious delinquency and public record or collection filed 38 38 38
Serious delinquency 39 39 39
Derogatory public record or collection filed 40 40 40

How can you use this? These all reasons why the credit card company or the lender shouldn’t give you a loan or card, so avoid these. For example, reason code 1 for all three bureaus is “Amount owed on accounts is too high,” so you should avoid carrying too high a balance because that’s a bad thing (which is obvious even without the reason codes). Just imagine you have a friend who wants to borrow money and you’ve just put yourself in a lender’s shoes.