Adverse Action Codes Used by CRAs That Explain Consumer Credit Scores

San Diego, CA. "Credit scoring has changed the credit industry dramatically. All three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) utilize one of three credit scoring models. Experian uses Fair Isaac Version 2, Equifax uses Beacon 96/FICO and TransUnion uses Emperica/FICO. In 1999 Fair-Isaac Corporation (FICO) released the latest scoring model known as NextGen (next generation) in use by all three CRA's since 2001.

FICO, by far the leader in credit scoring boasts that as of April 6th, 2004 its credit services are used more than 750 times per second to make a credit decisions.

The adverse actions are steps a lender takes, the use of codes, FICO says, are dubbed adverse action codes by lenders because the codes help lenders explain to consumers why adverse action was taken why the application was turned down, but they still are somewhat of a mystery to consumers.

All three CRAs list the four known Adverse Actions on each credit report, which are intended to give the consumer an explanation and also illustrate the top four adverse conditions on their individual reports.

Sometimes the codes may be four or five digits, always with the last two numbers being adverse code. There are close to 40 adverse action codes, with many gaps in-between the numbers - which may be filled in as the need arises.

The FICO score is first calculated first and then the reason codes are deduced and added to the report to the lenders.

Here is a list of so called "Adverse Action" Codes and the Adverse Action Description:

Code-Description 01 Amount owed on accounts too high 02 Delinquency on accounts too high 03 Too few bank revolving accounts 04 Too many revolving accounts 05 Too many accounts with balances 06 Consumer finance accounts 07 Account payment history too new to rate 08 Too many recent account inquiries last 12 months 09 Too many accounts opened last 12 months 10 Proportion of balances to credit limit too high 11 Amount owed on revolving accounts too high 12 Length of credit history too short 13 Time since delinquent too recent 14 Length of time accounts have been established 15 Lack of recent bank revolving activity is short 16 Lack of recent revolving activity too short 17 No recent non-mortgage balance information 18 Number of accounts with delinquency 19 Too few accounts paid as agreed 20 Time since derogatory public record collection 21 Amount of past due on account 22 Serious delinquency, derogatory public records or collection 24 No recent revolving balances 28 Number of established accounts 30 Time since last account opening too short 31 Too few accounts with recent payment 32 Lack of recent installment loan information 33 Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts too high 34 Amount owed on delinquent accounts 36 Length of time open accounts have been established 37 Number of consumer finance company accounts established/relative to length of credit history. 38 Serious delinquency and public records or collections filed 39 Serious delinquency 40 Delinquency public record or collections filed 47 Number of consumer finance inquiries 97 Lack of recent auto loan information 98 Length of time consumer company loans have been established 99 Lack of recent consumer finance company account information.

The ICFE wants consumers to understand if you have accessed more that 50 percent of your available credit limits on credit cards, your credit score will suffer. The greater the amount of the credit line that is used, the lower the credit score will go.

For more information about credit scores:

Sources: Craig Watts - Fair Isaac Corporation and Ryan Sjoblad at