Credit Score Ranges: What Do They Mean?

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Credit Score Ranges: What Do They Mean?

Your credit score is calculated using a formula based on five variables: payment history, amounts due, length of credit history, credit mix, and new credit. It may impact the interest rate you pay to a lender and even determine whether a loan is granted or denied. 1 Here are some credit score fundamentals and what different credit score ranges indicate for your borrowing future.

Key Takeaways

  • Credit scores are calculated using a system that takes into consideration characteristics such as payment history, total debt levels, and the number of open credit accounts.
  • Scores may influence loan interest rates as well as whether or not a credit application is granted or denied.
  • A score of 740 to 850 indicates that the person has been consistently responsible, whilst a score of 700 to 750 is regarded above average.
  • Individuals with poor credit scores (less than 600) may improve their scores by making timely payments, reducing debt, and keeping a zero balance on unused credit cards.
  • If you haven’t already built credit, you should chat to lenders about the conditions for creating accounts before establishing a good payment history.

Credit Score Basics

Your credit score is a numerical representation of the risk that a lender assumes when you borrow money. A FICO score is a well-known statistic developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation and used by credit agencies to assess the risk of a borrower. 1 The VantageScore is another credit score that was produced via a collaboration of the main three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. 2

Your credit score calculates your credit risk at a certain point in time based on information from your credit report. FICO and VantageScore both have a range of 300 to 850, however the methods in which they divide their scores into distinct classes varies. 3 4 In all circumstances, however, the better the credit score, the lesser the risk to the lender. For the purposes of this essay, five FICO scores will be utilized.

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Exceptional Credit Score:800 to 850

Consumers with credit scores ranging from 740 to 850 are seen to be consistently responsible when it comes to borrowing and are good candidates for the lowest interest rates. However, the top scores vary from 800 to 850. 3

People with this score have a lengthy history of no late payments and minimal credit card balances. Consumers with great credit may qualify for cheaper interest rates on mortgages, credit cards, loans, and lines of credit since they are thought to be less likely to fail on their obligations. An great credit score is especially important when applying for a personal loan, since it usually compensates for a lack of collateral. 6

Very Good Credit Score:740 to 799

A credit score of 740 to 799 shows that the customer is typically financially competent in terms of money and credit management. 3 The majority of their payments, such as loans, credit cards, utilities, and rent, are paid on time. Credit card balances are modest in comparison to credit account limitations.

Good Credit Score:670 to 739

A credit score of 670 to 739 puts a borrower close or slightly over the national average of US consumers, since the national average FICO score is 711 as of October 2020. 3 7 While they may still earn competitive interest rates, they are unlikely to demand the perfect rates of the two upper groups, and they may have a more difficult time qualifying for some forms of loans. For example, if a borrower has this credit score and is searching for an unsecured loan, it’s critical that they shop around to locate the solutions that best fit their requirements while having the fewest downsides.

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Fair Credit Score:580 to 669

Borrowers with credit scores ranging from 580 to 669 are considered to have “fair” credit. 3 They may have minor blemishes on their credit report, but no big delinquencies exist. Lenders are still likely to give loans to them, but not at particularly competitive rates. 8 Borrowers in need of funding may still discover great solutions for personal loans, even if their selections are restricted.

Poor Credit Score:Under 580

A person with a credit score between 300 and 579 has a seriously damaged credit history. 3 This might be the outcome of several defaults on various loan products from various lenders. A low credit score, on the other hand, may be the outcome of a bankruptcy, which will appear on a credit report for seven years for Chapter 13 and ten years for Chapter 11. 9

Borrowers with credit ratings in this category have extremely few options for acquiring new credit. 5 If your score falls within this range, consult with a financial advisor about how to restore your credit. Furthermore, if you can afford to pay a monthly charge, one of the top credit repair organizations may be able to get the bad points erased off your credit score. If you try to get an unsecured loan with this score, be sure to evaluate each lender you’re considering to find the least dangerous possibilities.

Paying off debt, making on-time payments, and having a zero balance on credit cards may all help you improve your credit score over time.

No Credit

Everyone must begin somewhere. If you have an extremely low credit score (say, less than 350), you most likely have no accounts and no credit history. Inquire with your local lender about its lending conditions. Set up a sensible repayment pattern as soon as you are authorized for your first loan or credit card to develop a strong credit record.

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The Bottom Line

Your credit score is determined by a number of criteria and may be used to decide if you will qualify to borrow money as well as the conditions of the loan, including the interest rate. Paying your payments on time and in full on a consistent basis can assist to protect your credit score in the future. Given the significance of a strong credit score, it may be worthwhile to invest in one of the finest credit monitoring services to better safeguard your information.

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