If you’ve recently acquired your credit score, congratulations! You’re one step closer to understanding how potential lenders judge you when you apply for credit cards or loans. But what does your specific credit score actually mean? Is your score good or bad? We’re here to help!
Choose the range below into which your score falls to see exactly what your score means in the real world:
- Over 760. That’s excellent!
- Between 700 – 759. That’s still good.
- Between 650 – 699. Only average.
- Under 650. That’s bad.
Credit Score Over 760? That’s Excellent!
If you have a credit score over 760 (out of a possible 850), congratulations! You have excellent credit!
What does excellent credit get me?
Excellent credit gets you the best of the best when you’re applying for a credit card, mortgage loan, or other financing. You do not have to worry about whether or not your application will get approved, because lenders are hungry for borrowers like you! That means they will give you their lowest interest rates and possibly other perks, too, such as richer credit card rewards or waived fees that those with worse credit might have to pay.
Your long history of paying your bills on time and not piling up too much debt shows that you can handle credit. Strangely enough, once you show you can handle credit, lenders start falling over themselves to give you more and more credit, even when you no longer need it. For you, that’s a good problem to have.
Credit score between 700 and 759? That’s pretty good.
If your credit score is between 700 and 759 (out of a possible 850), you should consider your score to be good, but a shade below excellent.
Having good credit means that you will be accepted for almost any loan or credit card you apply for. However, you may not always get the best rates, especially if you are in the lower end of this range.
In fact, the scores in this range are somewhat of a gray area, because some lenders will treat those at the top of this range as having excellent credit, and some lenders will treat those at the bottom of this range as having only average credit. So if your score falls at the top or bottom of this range, know that some lenders will treat you differently than they’d treat someone smack dab in the middle.
In general, people with credit scores in this range are good at paying their bills on time, but may have slipped up on occasion. If you do pay your bills on time, you may have a limited (shorter) credit history or a shortage of different types of credit that weigh down your score. Young adults who have handled credit well but haven’t been using credit for very long often fall into this range.
Credit score between 650 and 699? That’s only average.
If your credit score is at least 650 but under 700, you should consider that score to be only average. An “average” credit score means that you could get shut out of certain loan or credit products that target low-risk borrowers. It also means you won’t get the best rates on the loans for which you do qualify.
While the credit industry may use the term “average” to describe you, the fact of the matter is that you either have some delinquencies on your account or you are very new to credit and haven’t had a chance to build up your score yet. Either way, most lenders see you as potentially risky, and they will think long and hard before extending credit to you. Don’t be surprised if you have to jump through more hoops to get accepted for a loan or if it takes a while before your credit card applications are approved.
The good news for you is that you may have the easiest time of any group moving up to the next credit level. Even a year of on-time loan or credit card payments could raise your credit score into the “good” range, especially if your current score is closer to 699 than 650. Keep working!
Credit score under 650? That’s bad.
If your credit score is below 650, you have bad credit.
There’s no dancing around it. You have obviously been late on some of your bills in the past. You might even have chargeoffs, meaning you simply stopped paying on a balance you owed and the lender gave up on pursuing you. You might even have a bankruptcy in your past.
For you, getting new credit or qualifying for a loan of any type is going to be difficult. You are unlikely to get unsecured credit (no collateral) except at the worst possible terms, with high interest, fees, and very limited credit lines.
The good news is that lenders want you to improve your score so they can lend to you again. However, your path forward will probably require you to put up some sort of collateral in order to get back in the game. Secured credit cards that require you to pay a security deposit are one good option. Some of these cards are from major banks that promise to consider you for a regular, unsecured credit card once you’ve made your payments on time for a year (or sometimes even less). Check out our Secured Credit Cards page for secured cards that want to help you rebuild credit so they can get you into a standard card again.