WHAT IS YOUR CREDIT SCORE
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The most common credit score range is 300 to 850. In other words, 850 is the best credit score you can have, while 300 is the worst. And a good credit score is anything from 700 to 749. All of the most popular credit-scoring models, including those from VantageScore and FICO, now use that 300-to-850 credit score scale. That’s good because knowing the possibilities for what a credit score could be is the first step toward truly understanding what your credit score means.
To help you better understand the significance of your score, whichever it happens to be, WalletHub analyzed every single credit score from 300 to 850. Below, you can take a closer look at the different tiers in the credit score range, learn everything you need to know about your particular score, and see what steps you can take to improve.
Perfect Credit (800-850)
Membership in the 800+ credit score club is quite exclusive, with fewer than 1 in 6 people boasting a score that high, according to WalletHub data. A credit score of 800 or higher indicates that you’ve been using loans, credit cards and other lines of credit responsibly for several years, paying your monthly bills on time and keeping your credit report clear of negative information. For example, just 0.1% of people with credit scores over 800 have tax liens and civil judgments on their credit reports, according to VantageScore.
Excellent Credit (750-799)
A credit score of 750 to 799 qualifies as “excellent” and should qualify you for most loans, credit cards and other lines of credit. You won’t always get the best terms, though. That’s because a 750-799 credit score isn’t quite “perfect” credit. But it’s a lot closer than you might think, to both credit perfection and plain old “good” credit. So you might want to double-check your latest credit score to see exactly where you stand.
Good Credit (700-749)
Good credit is generally defined as a credit score from 660 to 719, with excellent credit spanning from 720 to 750. However, based on the approval rates we’ve seen for credit cards and loans, we believe it’s wise to skew the tiers a bit higher. More specifically, consider a good credit score to be 700 to 749, with 750+ being excellent.
It’s possible to get a credit card that requires good credit or better with a credit score of 660, for example, but you probably won’t have good approval odds unless your score is 700+.
Lenders always have the final say, though. And they don’t all define good credit the same way. To learn more, check out WalletHub’s good credit score guide.
Fair Credit (640-699)
A credit score of 640-699 is not a good credit score, unfortunately. You need a score of at least 700 to have “good” credit. But a 640-699 credit score isn’t “bad,” either. It’s actually in the “fair” credit tier. As a result, you should be able to get a credit card or loan with a 640-699 credit score. But a little bit of credit improvement will give you many more options and help you save a lot more money.
Poor Credit (571-639)
A credit score of 571-639 isn’t “good.” It’s not even “fair.” Rather, a 571-639 credit score is actually considered “bad,” according to the standard 300 to 850 credit-score scale.
Such a score will make it difficult to get approved for a decent loan or line of credit and could even prevent you from renting an apartment or landing certain jobs. It also figures to cost you thousands of dollars each year compared to someone with good credit.
Very Poor Credit (500-570)
A credit score of 500-570 is classified as “bad” on the standard 300-to-850 scale. It is 130-200 points away from being a “good” credit score, which many people use as a benchmark, and 70-140 points from being “fair.” Such a credit score won’t knock any lenders’ socks off, but it shouldn’t completely prevent you from being approved for a credit card or loan, either. For example, roughly 1 in 10 new credit card accounts are opened by someone with a credit score below 580, according to Equifax data.
Bad Credit (400-499)
A credit score of 400 to 499 is a bad credit score, unfortunately, as it’s a lot closer to the lowest score possible (300) than the highest credit score (850). It indicates that you’ve had payment problems in the past, perhaps even to the extent of going through bankruptcy or having your home foreclosed. And that signals risk to potential lenders. As a result, a 400-499 credit score will make it difficult to qualify for a loan or unsecured credit card. And you will need to focus on rebuilding your credit reputation before trying to get a mortgage, car loan, etc.
Very Bad Credit (300-399)
A score of 300-399 is as low as you can go on the credit score range. And it will make borrowing very difficult and expensive. But such a score doesn’t have to be permanent. Sure, turning a 300-399 credit score into a good credit score isn’t easy, considering you need a score of 700+ for that. Fair credit doesn’t even start until you reach a score of 640. But you’re neither alone nor without hope. Nearly 5% of people’s credit scores are below 500, according to WalletHub data. And there are many steps you can take — both big and small — to improve your credit score and keep it heading higher long term.
Factoids About the Credit Score Range
The most common credit score range is 300 to 850. All of the most popular credit-scoring models, including VantageScore 3.0 and FICO Score 8, now use that 300-to-850 credit score scale. But that hasn’t always been the case. And some alternate credit score ranges are still in use today. For example, FICO’s Auto and Bankcard scores range from 250 to 900.
Here are some additional credit score fun facts:
- 800+ is considered a perfect credit score.
- 3 states have average credit scores above 700: Minnesota (702), Hawaii (701) and North Dakota (701).
- 5 states have average scores below 650, with Mississippi (642) bringing up the rear.
- 282 cities have average credit scores of 720 or higher, led by The Villages, Fla., at 779.
- 92 cities have an average score below 620, worst of all Camden, N.J. (566)
Questions & Answers
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