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550? 725? 680? What does your credit score mean? In this chart, we take a look at what goes into having excellent, very good, good, fair, bad and very bad credit.

See what your credit score tells lenders and where you can improve. This useful guide to credit scores, compiled by Credit.com’s Credit Experts, is based on the most common credit scoring range used by FICO.

Of course these are generalizations with almost as many exceptions as rules, but it provides a useful guide for any consumer.

If you’re trying to build — or maintain — your credit, it helps to monitor it regularly, along with your credit reports, to check your progress and look for areas you need to work on. You can obtain your credit reports for free from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. And you can get your credit score for free once a month using Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card.

Quality Late payments, collections, public records Credit utilization

(balance/limit ratio)

Length of credit history New accounts & Inquiries Rates qualifying for Score range
Excellent None 1% – 10% Long None Lowest 800+
Very good None 1% – 10% Medium to long Very few Lowest 750-800
Good None recently 10% – 25% Medium Few Low to medium 700-750
Fair Recently, but not currently 25% – 50% Short to medium More than a few Low to medium 650-700
Bad Currently and in the past 50% – 75% Short Too many Medium to high 600-650
Very bad Currently and in the past 75% – 100%+ Short Too many High Below 600

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  • Keith

    What does 550 mean

  • Katie Rigby

    My credit score is 873, do you think I will get a bank loan of £3000

  • Mimi

    First time here my credit score on here saying 795 but other said 660 & 695 can you explain this to me how it’s 795 which is today credit.com give me & the other two from credit karma 660 & 695 I’m confused with these number just check both website like wait a minute

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Ours comes from the date in your Experian report. The other two come from Equifax and Trans Union. So the data on your credit reports may be different. Furthermore, they are different scoring models. This article explains:
      3 Reasons Why Your Free Credit Score Looks Wrong

  • Hannah

    I have a credit score of 540 … How long until I can apply for a loan?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Hannah —
      You can always apply, but being approved is another matter. You could go to a bank or credit union to ask generally about score requirements. And you would be wise to check your credit reports and scores regularly. You can get ffree annual credit reports
      at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you see information there that is inaccurate, you can dispute it. You can also check your progress for free. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.. Applying for credit causes a small, temporary dip in your score, so you will want to be relatively confident you’ll be approved before you apply.

  • Raj

    My FICO score is 734. I am planning to buy a new car from a dealer. Is my credit score affect the interest rate? If yes, I need to wait till my FICO score reach above 750?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Your credit union, bank or auto dealer may well use a different score (there are some specialty scores just for car loans). Our main advice is to apply for those loans sparingly. Here’s why: An Auto Loan Inquiry Dropped My Credit Score 80 Points

  • jasib

    My credit score is 545 and my fico score is between 665-715 is this good or bad?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Could you explain a little more? A FICO score is a credit score, so we’re having trouble understanding what your question is.

  • Nelly

    I don’t have credit , but I got an email from Experian saying my credit is 764. I don’t get it

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Neither do we. Are you sure this was a legitimate email?

  • Help

    I am helping a credit union find contract workers, but they must pass a detailed credit check before being hired. They managers said they care more about behavioral credit issues than the overall credit score. I have been asking people mainly about bankruptcies and write-offs but I feel l am missing a bunch and need to be more specific. Do you have any other solid questions I should be asking so these candidates don’t get flag as unhireable at the end of the process?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      You can let candidates know that the credit union does credit checks as part of the hiring process, and that late payments, bankruptcies or judgments could be viewed very negatively. It might also give candidates an opportunity to explain negative information ahead of time (such as a medical crisis resulted in late payments and/or bankruptcy).

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Hmmm…do you mean 200? Where are you getting your score from?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    The Equifax Risk Score runs on a similar range to FICO, with the highest score being 850. So you should be in good shape with a score in the 800s. This article may be helpful: What Is a Good Credit Score?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am unfamiliar with that specific type of reporting so I can’t speculate as to what it is or what it means. However, the law requires the credit reporting agency explain anything you don’t understand on your report. Have you tried calling them?

    We wrote about how collection accounts affect your credit scores here: The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Perhaps she obtained her free credit score through a service like Credit.com. When we show consumers their credit scores we also show them letter grades for each of the five main factors affecting their scores.

  • Raj

    Hi thats my credit score whats that mean…. Can anyone explain how its work… Please

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Raj —

      Your credit score is a 3-digit number that lenders use to decide how likely you are to repay money if they lend it to you. It can also affect the interest rates you are offered on credit cards, car loans or mortgages. You can get a free credit score for yourself with a Credit.com account and see the factors that affect it. You can find more information here:

      The Credit Score Range

      Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It all depends on what the lender is looking for. In many scoring models 796 is very good – but it does depend on which credit score range is being used when you review your score. Where are you getting this score?

    This article may help as well: The Credit Score Range

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Where did you purchase or receive this score? That source should be able to tell you. Unfortunately I am not familiar with this kind of credit score.

  • Kitty

    My credit score is 379 I’ve never had credit before and this is the first time its popped up with me actually having a line of credit… not sure what’s going on here.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Kitty – are you saying that you don’t have a line of credit? If so what you need to do is get your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and find out who is reporting. If the account is not yours, follow the steps in this article: A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • pkay

    i have a credit score of 597 and I am a sophomore in highschool. could my credit score be bad because i took out loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized)

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      If you took out loans and the loans weren’t paid or went delinquent, this could definitely have a negative impact on your credit scores. The only way to know for sure why your credit score is bad is to review the reason codes or score factors that were included with your score. With you only being a high-school sophomore, this raises a red flag for me. Did you actually apply and get approved for these loans on your own?

      To explain, your credit scores are based on the information being reported in your credit reports. Which means your credit scores are only as accurate as the information being reported in your credit reports.

      Under federal law you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies once every twelve months. If you haven’t already done so, we’d encourage you to claim your annual freebie to make sure the information being reported actually belongs to you. To claim your free reports visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

  • caz

    Helpful, thanks!

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