FICO stands for Fair, Isaac and Company, which was the original name of the company that solely uses the abbreviation as its name, as of 2014. Bill Fair and Earl Isaac founded the credit scoring company in 1956.
As of 2014, a FICO credit score is crucial for obtaining almost any type of loan or revolving credit in the United States. The exact criteria used to calculate a FICO credit score is a proprietary secret. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax calculate and maintain records on credit scores. The calculation has changed over the years. The FICO NextGen score was introduced in 2001. FICO is a publicly-traded company, and its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.