Credit / Credit Score
- Good Credit Score
- Credit Score Factors
- Monitoring Your Credit
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A credit score is a three-digit number in a range from 300 to 850 that is determined by your credit history. Lenders use it to gauge your ability to pay back a loan. A good credit score is often considered to be 670 or higher, but it depends on the credit-scoring model used.
See: 3 Signs You’re Serious About Raising Your Credit Score
Credit Score Key Takeaways
When analyzing what makes up your credit score — whether it is when and how you pay your credit card balance, how often you apply for credit or simply monitoring your credit accounts — it is important to understand all of the key components. Here is a breakdown of all the elements that go into making your credit score what it is:
- Payment History: Your payment history is the most crucial factor. It gives lenders an insight into your ability to make payments on time. It also includes details on missed payments, late payments, days past due and collection accounts.
- Credit Utilization: Credit utilization is how much debt you have available compared to how much you are using. When your credit utilization climbs above 30%, you can be flagged as a high-risk borrower.
- Credit Applications: A flurry of new credit applications — or hard inquiries — is a sign of financial stress and can dent your credit score.
- Length of Credit History: The length of your credit history also affects your score. A long track record of making payments on time and responsibly managing your accounts is a positive signal to lenders.
- Credit Mix: Credit mix shows the number of revolving accounts you have, like credit cards, versus how many are installment loans like mortgages or car loans. A good mix between the two is ideal.
What Is a Good Credit Score?
While a “good” credit score is typically considered to be 670 and up, it’s important to know that there are several different credit scores. The two main scores are the FICO score and the VantageScore, though the FICO Score is the preferred choice of most vendors. Many companies use one of these to determine creditworthiness.
To determine what is considered a good credit score, look at each type of credit-scoring method. They each have their own algorithms.
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Good FICO Score
FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation. It is one of the most common credit-scoring models today. Here’s the FICO Score scale to help you understand what’s considered a good FICO Score.
|800 or higher||Exceptional||Easy approval, lowest rates|
|740-799||Very good||Good chance of acceptance, lower rates|
|670-739||Good||Considered acceptable borrowers|
|580-669||Fair||Subprime borrowers with higher rates and less chance of approval|
|579 or lower||Poor||Considered risky borrowers; lenders may require deposits to access credit|
VantageScore bases individual credit scores heavily on payment history and outstanding balances. Here’s a look at the VantageScore scale.
|781-850||Superprime||Easy approval, lowest rates|
|661-780||Prime||Good chance of acceptance, lower rates|
|601-660||Near prime||Considered acceptable borrowers|
|300-600||Subprime||Higher rates and less chance of approval|
What Factors Affect Your Credit Score?
Both FICO and VantageScore are calculated according to their algorithms. Below is a breakdown of each.
According to the Fair Isaac Corp., the company that created the FICO credit-scoring algorithm, these are the factors that are weighed in your credit score:
- Payment history: 35%
- Amounts owed: 30%
- Length of credit history: 15%
- New credit: 10%
- Credit mix: 10%
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Here is the breakdown of how the VantageScore is calculated so that you can compare the two:
- Payment history: 40%
- Depth of credit: 21%
- Utilization: 20%
- Balances: 11%
- Recent credit: 5%
- Available credit: 3%
Factors Not Considered in Your Credit Score
Your credit score is based on how you use credit extended to you. It does not include the following factors:
- Gender, race, relationship status, education, religion, sexuality, political affiliation, national origin or age
- Income or job title — though income is considered in a credit application, it does not affect your credit score
- Being denied credit
- Checking your credit report
Check, Monitor and Improve Your Credit: Step by Step
There are many companies that offer free credit score checks if you are curious about your current standing. Take the following steps to take control of your credit.
Step 1: Get Your Credit Report
Start by getting a copy of your credit report from one of the following places.
- Credit bureaus
- Credit card companies
- Credit counselors
Step 2: Check Your Credit Report for Errors
Check each report for errors, such as fraudulent activity, accounts that don’t belong to you or payments marked as late that you made on time. Dispute any mistakes directly through each credit bureau.
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Step 3: Prioritize On-Time Payments
Going forward, do your best to avoid late payments. Try to lower outstanding balances as much as possible.
This is the clearest indication to lenders that you are not a risk, and it will have the most significant impact on your score.
Step 4: Don’t Apply for New Credit Unless Necessary
Don’t apply for new credit unless you absolutely need it. New credit applications will temporarily lower your score.
Step 5: Develop Good Financial Habits
Some good financial habits include paying bills on time, paying off your credit card in full every month and avoiding making several credit applications over a short period.
Step 6: Keep an Eye on Your Credit
Sign up for a credit monitoring program that can alert you when changes are made. Even if you do this, however, you must monitor your credit manually.
At least once a month, pull your report through a company like Credit Karma or Experian. It’s free to do and gives you an overview of any changes.
Final Take To GO
Factors that impact your credit are typically the same across all industries; they are just calculated differently. Instead of focusing on different industries, focus on improving the factors as a whole. This will increase your chances of approval with any lender, as a good credit score opens the door for opportunities to have lower payments, lower interest, better jobs and housing, and more.
If you are denied credit, ask the loan company for specifics. By getting details about what factors it weighs the most heavily, you can create a targeted credit improvement strategy. The truth is that your credit score can impact your entire life. For example, a low credit score can:
- Prevent you from getting certain jobs and housing, as it can be seen as a sign of irresponsibility
- Lead to high interest rates on mortgages, car loans and other types of loans. This can mean you are paying double or more for a product compared to those with higher credit scores.
- Keep you from getting approved at furniture or appliance stores. When you desperately need a new fridge, you might find yourself paying steep prices through a rent-to-own store.
Here are some quick answers to frequently asked questions about credit scores.
- What is a good credit score?
- A good credit score is considered to be anything more than 670, but preferably over 700 for most lenders.
- How do you get an 850 credit score?
- Here are a few tips to help you work your way to a perfect credit score:
- 1. Pay your credit card bills often and on time.
- 2. When possible, increase your credit limit.
- 3. Don't close old credit accounts.
- 4. Regularly monitor your credit report.
- 5. Only apply for credit when you really need it.
- Here are a few tips to help you work your way to a perfect credit score:
- Is 700 an okay credit score?
- Any credit score of 700 and above is considered to be a good credit score, which will help you be approved by lenders assessing your creditworthiness.
- What is a good credit score to buy a house?
- Rocket Mortgage suggests having a credit score of at least 620 if you're applying for a conventional mortgage. Of course, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate is likely to be.
Brandy Woodfolkand Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.Is 740 an okay credit score? ›
Your FICO® Score falls within a range, from 740 to 799, that may be considered Very Good. A 740 FICO® Score is above the average credit score. Borrowers with scores in the Very Good range typically qualify for lenders' better interest rates and product offers.Can u get a 900 credit score? ›
A 900 credit score may be the highest on some scoring models, but this number isn't always possible. Only 1% of the population can achieve a credit score of 850, so there's a certain point where trying to get the highest possible credit score isn't realistic at all.Is 700 credit good enough? ›
A 700 FICO® Score is Good, but by raising your score into the Very Good range, you could qualify for lower interest rates and better borrowing terms. A great way to get started is to get your free credit report from Experian and check your credit score to find out the specific factors that impact your score the most.Can I buy a house with a 643 credit score? ›
Generally speaking, you'll need a credit score of at least 620 in order to secure a loan to buy a house. That's the minimum credit score requirement most lenders have for a conventional loan. With that said, it's still possible to get a loan with a lower credit score, including a score in the 500s.Can I buy a house with 675 credit score? ›
740–850: Excellent credit – Borrowers get easy credit approvals and the best interest rates. 670–740: Good credit – Borrowers are typically approved and offered good interest rates. 620–670: Acceptable credit – Borrowers are typically approved at higher interest rates.How long does it take to go from 740 to 800 credit score? ›
Depending on where you're starting from, It can take several years or more to build an 800 credit score. You need to have a few years of only positive payment history and a good mix of credit accounts showing you have experience managing different types of credit cards and loans.How to get credit score from 750 to 800? ›
- Pay Your Bills on Time – All of Them. Paying your bills on time can improve your credit score and get you closer to an 800+ credit score. ...
- Don't Hit Your Credit Limit. ...
- Only Spend What You Can Afford. ...
- Don't Apply for Every Credit Card. ...
- Have a Credit History. ...
- What an 800+ Credit Score Can Mean.
- Pay all your bills on time. One of the easiest ways to boost your credit is to simply never miss a payment. ...
- Avoid excessive credit inquiries. ...
- Minimize how much debt you carry. ...
- Have a long credit history. ...
- Have a good mix of credit.
We provide a score from between 0-999 and consider a 'good' score to be anywhere between 881 and 960, with 'fair' or average between 721 and 880.
A credit score of 1,000 is not possible because credit scoring models simply do not go that high. According to Experian, some credit scoring models reach upwards of 900 or 950, but those are industry-specific scores that are only used by certain institutions.How rare is an 800 credit score? ›
According to a report by FICO, only 23% of the scorable population has a credit score of 800 or above.Can I get $50,000 loan with 700 credit score? ›
You will likely need a minimum credit score of 660 for a $50,000 personal loan. Most lenders that offer personal loans of $50,000 or more require fair credit or better for approval, along with enough income to afford the monthly payments.What raises credit score? ›
Factors that contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of different credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.What is good credit to buy a car? ›
Here's a quick look at how a good credit score can benefit you when you're buying a car. Lower interest rates. A good credit score — typically a score of 680 or higher — can help you secure a low interest rate from the dealer. In fact, taking your score from 600 to 780 could halve your rate.What credit score is needed for a $250000 house? ›
For most loan types, the credit score needed to buy a house is at least 620. However, a higher score significantly improves your chances of approval.What credit score is needed for a $350 000 house? ›
Veterans, active-duty service members, members of the National Guard, and reservists typically qualify, along with some surviving spouses. You'll need an “acceptable” credit history as well. Some mortgage lenders are happy with a credit score of 580, but many want 620-660 or higher.How accurate is credit karma? ›
Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.How can I build my credit fast? ›
- Request Your Free Credit Reports. ...
- Verify the Contents of Your Credit Reports. ...
- File a Credit Report Dispute If Errors Are Present. ...
- Pay Your Bills on Time — Every Time. ...
- Become an Authorized User on a Credit Card. ...
- Pay Off Debt and Accounts-in-collections Quickly.
Credit scores are three-digit numbers that show an important piece of your financial history. Credit scores help lenders decide whether to grant you credit. The average credit score in the United States is 698, based on VantageScore® data from February 2021. It's a myth that you only have one credit score.
You will likely need a credit score of at least 660 for a $30,000 personal loan. Most lenders that offer personal loans of $30,000 or more require fair credit or better for approval, along with enough income to afford the monthly payments.Can my credit score go up 200 points in a month? ›
There are several actions you may take that can provide you a quick boost to your credit score in a short length of time, even though there are no short cuts to developing a strong credit history and score. In fact, some individuals' credit scores may increase by as much as 200 points in just 30 days.How fast can I add 100 points to my credit score? ›
For most people, increasing a credit score by 100 points in a month isn't going to happen. But if you pay your bills on time, eliminate your consumer debt, don't run large balances on your cards and maintain a mix of both consumer and secured borrowing, an increase in your credit could happen within months.How can I raise my credit score 40 points fast? ›
- Check your credit reports on a regular basis to track your progress. ...
- Sign up for free credit monitoring. ...
- Figure out how much money you owe. ...
- Set up autopay, so you never forget to make a credit card payment. ...
- Pay twice a month. ...
- Negotiate a lower interest rate.
What it means to have a credit score of 800. A credit score of 800 means you have an exceptional credit score, according to Experian. According to a report by FICO, only 23% of the scorable population has a credit score of 800 or above.Is a 600 A bad credit score? ›
Your score falls within the range of scores, from 580 to 669, considered Fair. A 600 FICO® Score is below the average credit score. Some lenders see consumers with scores in the Fair range as having unfavorable credit, and may decline their credit applications.What is a good credit score for my age? ›
Average Credit Score by Age.
|Age||Average FICO Score|
A 700 credit score is also good enough to buy a house. You can even find lenders that will consider you for higher-value homes requiring “jumbo” mortgages. Your credit score is one of many factors that determine mortgage interest rates.
Since the length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score, negative, minimal or no credit history can stop you from reaching an 800 credit score. To solve this problem, focus on building your credit. You can do this by taking out a credit-builder loan or applying for your first credit card.How to go from 600 to 750 credit score? ›
- Make your payments on time. ...
- Set up autopay or calendar reminders. ...
- Don't open too many accounts at once. ...
- Get credit for paying monthly utility and cell phone bills on time. ...
- Request a credit report and dispute any credit report errors. ...
- Pay attention to your credit utilization rate.
- Lower Your Credit Utilization. ...
- Limit New Credit Applications. ...
- Diversify Your Credit Mix. ...
- Keep Old Credit Cards Open. ...
- Make On-Time Payments.
The short answer is no. Your date of birth doesn't necessarily impact your personal credit score—but the age of your credit profile does. “What it means is the age of your credit report. Yes, your credit report has an age just like anything else,” writes Gerri Detweiler for Credit.com.What credit score is needed to buy a car? ›
In general, you'll need a credit score of at least 600 to qualify for a traditional auto loan, but the minimum credit score required to finance a car loan varies by lender. If your credit score falls into the subprime category, you may need to look for a bad credit car loan.