Whether you want a credit card, purchase a new car, or borrow for a new home, you will need a good credit rating or score. It is this 3-digit number that creditors and lenders use to consider your loan. First, they use credit rating to determine if they will loan you money. Second, they use your score to decide what terms you’ll have including the down payment and interest rate you’ll have to pay.
But what is a good credit score? Generally speaking, if you have a credit score above 700, your credit is in good standing. Credit scores use a formula. This number represents your creditworthiness. The higher the number, the better off you are to borrow money for goods and services. The number can range between 300-850.
Depending on what you are trying to purchase, a lender can use one of many versions of your credit score from FICO, VantageScore, or from a credit bureau itself. Experian, Transunion, and Equifax all generate numerous credit scores, including FICO scores and VantageScores. In general, these scores range from 300-850. All versions of credit scores consider the higher score as better. Moreover, each lender has its own standards as to what number they consider as good.
Credit Score Ranges
FICO is the most widely known out of many credit scoring agencies. Your FICO score is used by many lenders. Generally speaking, if your score is above 670, you have good credit. If it’s above 800, consider your score excellent. Most people’s FICO credit score is currently at a high of around 700, according to Experian.
- Experian: 330 – 830
- Equifax: 300 – 850
- TransUnion: 300 – 850
- FICO: 300 – 850
- VantageScore: 501 – 990 (often assigned a letter grade, A – F)
FICO CREDIT RANGES
|300-579||Very Poor||You may not be approved at all or you may be charged an upfront fee to be granted loan.|
|580-669||Fair||You are considered subprime and may have higher fees or interest rates.|
|670-739||Good||You should be given credit as you are low risk.|
|740-799||Very Good||You should be given above-average rates from lenders.|
|800-850||Exceptional||This is the best scores and should have the best rates.|
VantageScore is another type of credit score. Today, lenders are using it more and more. In 2006, the 3 major Credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) created VantageScore. The VantageScore formula uses a range between 300 and 850. Generally speaking, if your VantageScore is above 700, it is good. Anything above 750 is considered to be an excellent score. According to Experian, most people have a VantageScore of above 650.
VANTAGESCORE CREDIT RANGES
|300-549||Very Poor||You are not likely to be approved.|
|550-649||Poor||You may not be approved or may be charged an upfront fee to be granted loan.|
|650-699||Fair||You may be approved for credit but at higher rates.|
|700-749||Good||You should be approved.|
|750-850||Excellent||You’ll have the most favorable rates and terms.|
Why is a good credit score important?
Having good credit matters in getting you what you need and want. A strong score gets you approved for loans and as well as determines the fees and interest you will have to pay. It is wise to ensure your credit score remains as good as it can be.
Here are some examples a good credit score can help with:
- Car lease
- Car purchase loan
- Cell phone agreement
- Apartment rental
- Unsecured credit card
- Mortgage for a new home
- Best insurance rates
While different creditors and lenders have their own standards as far as what is good credit, all of them rely on your credit reporting and score. Furthermore, a specific score does not guarantee whether or not you are approved for credit or get the best terms. Know that it is not only your score that determines if a lender will approve your loan. Also, they will review your credit report and history or they may use a specific credit score based on loan type to determine eligibility. FICO, VantageScore and the big three bureaus provide numerous variations of scores for things like mortgage loans, auto loans, and more.
To sum it all up, start by reviewing your credit report for accuracy and learning your FICO or VantageScore or your scores from each of the bureaus. It’s a great first step to put you in the best financial position.