Where you fall on the credit score range can determine your overall financial health.
According to FICO, the average consumer FICO score in the United States as of April 2023 is 718.
A 718 is a good credit score that indicates you have a responsible history of managing credit and repaying debt. This shows lenders you’re a reliable borrower and puts you in a strong position to qualify for favorable loan terms and the best rewards credit cards.
FICO Credit Score Range
Let’s break down the five credit score range numbers and what that means to you.
1. Poor (300-579)
- Borrowers in this range face significant challenges obtaining credit due to a history of late payments or collections.
- Interest rates for any loans for bad credit or credit cards to rebuild credit will be high, significantly increasing borrowing costs.
- Building a better credit history through on-time payments and responsible credit management is crucial to improve financial standing.
2. Fair (580-669)
- Borrowers in this range may still face difficulties obtaining some types of credit, but options become more available compared to the “poor” range.
- Interest rates will likely be higher than for those with good or excellent scores, but some lenders may offer more favorable terms compared to the “poor” range.
- Improving financial habits and credit utilization can help raise the score into the “good” range and unlock better credit options.
3. Good (670-739)
- This range is considered the threshold for “good” creditworthiness, opening doors to more favorable terms and interest rates for mortgages, credit cards and low interest personal loans.
- Many lenders consider borrowers in this range to be low-risk, granting access to a wider variety of financial products.
- Maintaining responsible credit behavior can further improve the score towards the “very good” and “excellent” categories.
4. Very Good (740-799)
- Borrowers in this range enjoy excellent credit access and competitive interest rates on financial products.
- Lenders see these individuals as very reliable and low-risk borrowers, leading to potentially better terms and perks.
- Maintaining consistent financial practices and avoiding negative credit events can help preserve this highly beneficial score.
5. Exceptional (800-850)
- This is the top tier of credit scores, offering borrowers the most advantageous terms and interest rates available.
- Lenders view these individuals as the most creditworthy, potentially offering premium rewards programs and exclusive financial products.
- Maintaining impeccable credit habits and avoiding any potential credit missteps is crucial to keep this top score.
A look at how FICO credit scores are calculated
When Your FICO Credit Score Affects Your Life
Your credit score plays a surprisingly large role in various aspects of your life, beyond just accessing loans and credit cards.
Here are five unexpected ways your credit score can impact you:
1. Renting an apartment. Many landlords, especially for desirable properties, check credit scores to assess potential tenants’ financial responsibility. A low score could lead to denied applications or higher security deposits.
2. Getting utilities. While some utilities may require a deposit for low scores, others might deny service altogether. Building good credit can ensure you get approved for essential services at standard rates.
3. Employment opportunities. Some employers, especially for jobs involving finance or handling company money, may check your credit as part of the background check. A poor score could limit your career options.
4. Insurance rates. Car insurance companies often use credit scores to determine rates, with lower scores leading to higher premiums. Maintaining good credit can save you money on monthly insurance bills.
5. Phone and internet services. Similar to utilities, phone and internet providers may deny service or charge higher deposits for customers with low credit scores. Building a solid credit history can ensure smooth access to these vital services.
Remember, a good credit score doesn’t just open doors to financial products, it can also positively impact various aspects of your daily life. By practicing responsible credit management and monitoring your score, you can unlock better opportunities and avoid unnecessary financial set-backs.