So you know your credit score, now what? Brag to you friends? Compare it with your co-workers? Before you go announcing it to the world, get a better understanding of what it actually means. Remember, to effectively evaluate your score you’ll need a range as well. Just as you would if you were taking a test in school, without a range, a score is meaningless.
Like all other scoring models, credit scores have a range. The funny thing about the credit score range is that no one seems to know exactly what it is, just that it’s roughly anywhere from 300 to 850, though some say credit scores go up to 900. It’s a bit of a secret, much like other complicated algorithms out there. Regardless, armed with that knowledge, we have enough information to make sense of your credit score.
Let’s start at the top of the credit score range and work our way down.
800-850+ Credit Score
A credit score of 800-900 is basically flawless credit. Though I’ve never seen a 900 credit score (readers have told me they have 900+ scores), scores of 800-850 are fairly common. An important thing to note here is that some consumers may have 800 credit scores the minute their credit profile is established, but without supporting credit history, the score will mean very little to banks and lenders.
On the other hand, a credit score of 800-900 accompanied with years of solid history indicates that the borrower will be granted the lowest rate on everything from credit cards to auto insurance and mortgages. Scores in this range represent about 13% of the population.
720-799 Credit Score
A credit score of 720-799 is considered great credit, and will typically result in interest rates and approval rates that a credit score in the range of 800-850+ would yield. The only difference might be a few more pricing incentives at the 800-850+ range, and a more thorough credit check in this range. But all in all, credit scores in this range are considered excellent and you really don’t need to worry if you scores fall in this category. In fact, roughly 27% of the population has a credit score of 750-799 alone.
680-719 Credit Score
A score in this range is considered good credit. Although it’s not perfect, you should still be able to qualify for most loans and auto or rental leases, although interest rates may be a little higher than those offered to borrowers with excellent credit. There will be situations where a credit score in this range will prevent you from getting certain types of financing, such as an A-paper mortgage loan or the lowest auto insurance premium, but it’s certainly not bad credit.
620-679 Credit Score
Credit scores in this range are still considered “good” or “ok” by many creditors, though you may see further restrictions and fewer approvals when attempting to get a loan, lease, or a mortgage. Scores at this level are fairly common, and no reason for alarm. But it would be wise to evaluate your score and work to improve it. In this range, it is quite probable that you aren’t securing the lowest interest rates, and subsequently losing money as a result.
580-619 Credit Score
This is where “ok” and “good” turn to “bad”. Credit scores in this range are clearly below average, and you will have a difficult time securing a loan, or applying for a credit card. If you are able to secure financing, you’ll find higher interest rates for low credit scores. If your credit score falls in this range, you definitely need to evaluate your credit report and take measures to raise your credit score.
Many consumers with credit scores in this range are considered “subprime” and may have to work with bad credit banks and lenders to secure financing.
500-579 Credit Score
Credit scores in this range are just flat out ugly. If you’ve got a credit score in this range, there’s a good chance you have a major derogatory mark on your credit report such as a collection, charge-off, mortgage lates, a foreclosure, or a bankruptcy. There is no question that your credit is in need of serious credit repair.
At this level, you must evaluate your credit and act immediately to turn things around. You’re clearly paying higher interest rates and making credit mistakes that will impact your life for years to come.
Below 500 Credit Score
Credit scores below 500 are the worst of the worst. To fall into this range, your credit report will definitely contain major derogatory marks, with very little positive data whatsoever. If your credit score is at this level, you may want to consider speaking with a professional about your situation. There’s a good chance you’ve got serious financial problems if your credit score is in this range. Start educating yourself immediately to alleviate your problems.
So now you should have a good idea as to where you stand and what you need to do to improve things, repair things, see a professional, or simply maintain your healthy financial lifestyle.