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How Do I Rate?
Most credit scores – including the FICO score and the latest version of the VantageScore – operate within the range of 301 to 850. Within that range, there are different categories, from bad to excellent.
Excellent Credit: 781 – 850
Good Credit: 661-780
Fair Credit: 601-660
Poor Credit: 501-600
Bad Credit: below 500
But even these aren’t set in stone. That’s because lenders all have their own definitions of what is a good credit score. One lender that is looking to approve more borrowers might approve applicants with credit scores of 680 or higher. Another might be more selective and only approve those with scores of 750 or higher. Or both lenders might offer credit to anyone with a score of at least 650, but charge consumers with scores below 700 a higher interest rate!
The Credit Score Range Scale
There are many different credit scores available to lenders, and they each develop their own credit score range. Why is that important? Because if you get your credit score, you need to know the credit score range you are looking at so you understand where your number fits in.
The Credit Score Range Using Various Scoring Models:
FICO Score range: 300-850
VantageScore 3.0 range: 300–850
VantageScore scale (versions 1.0 and 2.0): 501–990
PLUS Score: 330-830
TransRisk Score: 100-900
Equifax Credit Score: 280–850
With all of the scores listed above, the higher the number the lower the risk. That means consumers with higher scores are more likely to get approved for credit, and to get the best interest rates when they do. And they are more likely to get discounts on insurance. What is considered a “high” score depends on what type of score is being used.
If your FICO score is 840, for example, you’re just 10 points shy of the highest score possible and your credit is “superprime.” But if you have an 840 VantageScore (using version 2.0), it’s not as spectacular because you’re 150 points away from the highest possible score.
What Can I Get With A Good Credit Score?
Some of the best credit cards–from rewards cards to 0% balance transfer offers–go to consumers with strong credit scores. You’ll find great credit cards for good credit here.
A good credit score can also get you a lower interest rate when you borrow. That means you will pay less over time.
For example, if you’re buying a $300,000 house with a 30 year fixed mortgage, and you have good credit, then you could end up paying more than $90,000 less for that house over the life of the loan than if you had bad credit.
So, in the end, it really pays to understand your credit scores and to make them as strong as possible.