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How many credit or charge cards should I have?

Why Does American Express Send Me My FICO Score?


Receiving your FICO score in the mail is the result of new rules in the banking industry.

Under the rules, card issuers such as American Express provide credit scores in notices to consumers when a credit score is used to:


  • Decline an application for a credit or charge card
  • Reduce the credit limit on an existing account
  • Cancel an account
  • Set the interest for an account


When you receive a letter like this in the mail from American Express, you will also receive information about how to obtain a free copy of your credit report. Taken together, this information can help you better understand your credit profile.


However, FICO scores are not the full picture. American Express looks at a number of factors when deciding whether to issue cards or make changes to an existing account. For example, we look at your overall debt relative to your financial resources.


The FICO Score I Received from American Express Doesn’t Match the Score I Received from the Credit Agency. Why?


There are two reasons for any possible differences.


1. The date the score was calculated.
A FICO score is a point-in-time snapshot of your credit worthiness. As your credit profile changes, your credit score may change as well.

2. The type of score.
The credit score you receive from the credit reporting agency may not be a FICO score, but instead it may be a different score that they issue. An example would be that Experian, one of the credit agencies, has both a PLUS and a FICO score, and Equifax and TranUnion, other credit agencies, have both a Vantage score and a FICO score, and they may not be the same. The scores vary because they use different ranges of numbers and they are calculated using different factors that may weigh information in your credit report differently than FICO scores.


You can learn more about credit bureaus, credit scores and credit reports by visiting the Credit Bureau Resources section of our Web site.



The information provided by Fair Isaac Corporation is used with permission. Copyright © Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved. Further use, reproduction, or distribution is governed by the Fair Isaac Copyright Usage Requirements, which, along with further information on credit, credit scoring, and related topics, can be found at Fair Isaac®, FICO®, myFICO®, and other marks are trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation.
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