Warren Buffett Has a FICO Score of 718! Who Cares?

March 29, 2008

Website, myFICO, is making a big deal that Warren Buffett’s FICO score is only 718. My question: who cares? Seriously, the guy is worth BILLIONS of dollars. He doesn’t need credit. Can you imagine Buffett getting a subprime mortgage because his credit score is low? LOL!

The article then goes on to list three reasons why a wealthy person’s FICO score could be low:

  • Very active user of credit cards with high balances
  • Late in paying bills
  • Credit report error
  • I’m not sure but I think they left out inactivity or no borrowing history. If you don’t borrow and don’t use credit, your credit score will be lower.

    That said, I suppose it’s kind of cool to be able to say your credit score is higher than Warren Buffett’s (if it actually is).

    13 responses to Warren Buffett Has a FICO Score of 718! Who Cares?

    1. Somehow I just can’t imagine that “late in paying bills” would be a factor with ol’ Warren.

      I’m with you in that I think the biggest factor is a rather inactive borrowing history. Why’d they leave that out?

    2. It’s just a reminder that credit score ignores income and net worth. Oh, and privacy laws are lax 😉

    3. I think people care for the same reason they like to see celebrities look ugly: they’re jealous and feel they’re more like them when they see them fail.

      You’re very right when you say who cares about his credit score. He’s still richer than any of us will ever be in our lifetimes.

    4. I wonder when the last time Mr. Buffett took out a loan?

    5. out of curiosity, can Warren Buffet buy Fair Isaac outright? and I don’t mean Berkshire, but Buffet himself.

    6. chengjih,

      LOL! Good point!

    7. I would guess that the problem would be lots of activity + late payment, and possibly payments in dispute. I doubt he uses cash much, is highly active and does lots of things all over the world, and probably has a staffer who pays his bills. Since it only takes one late payment to ding a credit score, it wouldn’t take much to have a small ding.

      In her job, my wife sees lots of credit scores of high-net-worth people (although more low millions, not guys like Buffett). They’re often not so good, particularly for people who own restaurants or in construction. The typical reason is missed or disputed payments.

    8. Buffet doesn’t strike me as the sort to be late on payments, and he’s a pretty low-lifestyle jillionaire, isn’t he?

      IMHO, he probably doesn’t use credit cards much, or if he uses them regularly pays them off in full. E.g., he’s a credit deadbeat.

      Not that it’s any of our business.

    9. Honestly, he probably doesn’t pay his own bills. He has someone or a service do it for him. He probably has petty cash, but uses credit cards for the bulk of his expenses (e.g., beyond a certain threshold), and they’re paid in full at the end of the month. While his bookkeeper(s) probably pay his bills on time, who would know if they didn’t? Do you think he checks his AmEx bill for prompt payment? On that note, who might check his credit score? I’m sure that unless he was denied for a loan, no one would bother to research. And I’m sure he hasn’t been denied for anything. So it could be late payments, but it’s more than likely an error. A check of my credit score revealed a sudden drop of 100 points. It turns out that there was an error in which I was listed as a co-signer on someone’s loan, which then went into default. So you never know…

    10. Maybe I’m missing something here, but since when is 718 a BAD credit score? It’s not the highest possible to be sure, but according to: http://www.bad-credit-advisor.com/fico-credit-score.html

      “FICO score of 700 and higher means Excellent or Very Good credit.”

      This just sounds like an advertisement by the myFICO people similar to those emails some companies send out “to their best customers.” It’s designed to make consumers feel good about themselves. Looks like marketing to me!

      People should be concerned about their own score and how it rates on the scale, not how it compares to someone else.

    11. My guess is he doesn’t have a mortgage. My credit score went down after I paid off my mortgage; one of the items listed as affecting it was no real estate loans or no “different kinds of loans”. Haven’t checked in a while, but it must be OK judging by the number of offers I get.

      BTW – I wonder if he does his own bill-paying or his secretary does it.

    12. I’m higher than Buffet. He can afford more Farari’s than me though…

      He wins.

      Good post by the way.

    13. I think they are making a big deal out of it just because he is the Oracle From Omaha, a financial scion, and a frickin’ overall genius. Although according to this site http://yourcreditscorerange.com/2011/understanding-the-fico-credit-score-range/ a credit score of 718 puts him in the 18th percentile, I would probably think someone of Warren Buffet’s stature would warrant a credit score that is higher than 718. Although a score of 718 will get you a pretty darn good rate, 718 won’t get you the best rates. But then again, who needs a credit score when you are Warren Buffet :).