What constitutes a “good” credit score?
Best answer: It depends.
As TransUnion explains, the value of a credit score is determined by the lender. Every individual can have multiple credit scores, rated on various scales. Lenders may approach these scores differently – meaning there’s no “perfect” score to aspire to.
Ultimately, the higher your credit score (no matter what rating scale), the more confident lenders are that you will repay your future debts.
A higher credit score may translate to more favorable loan options and rates—meaning it’s important to keep an eye on your credit score and work to ensure your credit rating falls within a certain range.
Learn more about credit scores and where you fall in the credit score scale.
Click on a topic below to jump to your must-know section:
- What is a Credit Score?
- How is Credit Score Calculated?
- How Do I Find My Credit Score?
- How Do I Improve My Credit Score?
- Final Notes
What is a Credit Score?
When you check your credit score, it’s important to understand what that three-digit number means and how it may impact your life.
Your credit score can make or break plenty of things: mortgage negotiations, credit card approval, and even your ability to rent an apartment.
This rating is one factor used by banks and lenders to decide whether they’ll approve you for a loan or credit card. Credit scores influence the credit amount you receive, and the terms at which you receive it; for example, whether or not you receive high or low interest rates.
Think of your credit score as a financial report card: a grade that measures how well you’ve dealt with past loans, lines of credit, and other financial obligations. Lenders, banks, and other agencies are more likely to work with you and approve you for financial products if your credit score falls in a certain range.
In a nutshell: the higher your credit score, the better.
How is Credit Score Calculated?
A credit score is generated using an algorithm that predicts risk; lenders look at this number to assess your credit history. However, you don’t have one single credit score. Everyone is given multiple credit scores, which are calculated differently by credit reporting agencies.
While there are plenty of industry-specific scores, we’re going to look at two specific credit scoring systems: FICO and VantageScore.
Both of these models calculate their respective credit scores based on the information found in your credit reports, but these scores are calculated a bit differently.
How is my FICO Score Calculated?
After the arrival of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Isaac and Company (FICO) started assigning credit scores based on various financial factors.
Today, FICO scores may be used by lenders, insurers, and government agencies to assess whether an individual will be able to pay back their debt. FICO Scores are calculated with many different pieces of data in mind. The data is divided into 5 different categories, all of which carry different weights.
FICO Score Breakdown:
- Payment History: 35%
This looks at whether you’ve paid your bills on time.
- Amount of Debt: 30%
This measures how much available credit you’re using; the closer you are to maxing out your credit, the worse your credit score will be.
- Length of Credit History: 15%
This looks at the average age of all of your accounts, as well as how long it’s been since those accounts were used.
- Types of Credit Used: 10%
This looks at the different types of loans you have; lenders like to see that you are able to responsibly manage different types of accounts.
- Amount of New Credit: 10%
This is a measure of how often you’ve opened new accounts, as opening a variety of accounts at the same time will negatively impact your credit score.
What is a Good FICO score?
When you’re working with the FICO score range, a rating above 670 is considered to be a good credit score, while a credit score above 800 is considered to be exceptional.
This FICO credit score chart breaks down the various categories:
How is my VantageScore Calculated?
Some lenders felt that FICO scores didn’t incorporate all of the necessary information In 2006, a new model was created: VantageScore. VantageScore 3.0, like the FICO score range, rates your credit score on a scale of 300 to 850.
VantageScore looks at many of the same categories at FICO, but these are weighted differently.
- Amount of Recent Credit: 30%
This looks at how many new credit accounts you have.
- Payment History: 28%
This assesses whether you have satisfactory or delinquent accounts.
- Utilization of Current Credit: 23%
This takes a look at the amount of credit you use.
- Size of Account Balances: 9%
This measures the amount of your current and delinquent balances.
- Depth of Credit: 9%
This measures the length of your credit history and types of accounts you have.
- Amount of Available Credit: 1%
This looks at the amount of available credit you have.
What is a Good VantageScore?
There’s no magical scoring number, but VantageScore does provide a bit of guidance on the quality of certain VantageScore 3.0 score ranges, rating them on a scale of A to F.
Take a look at the VantageScore 3.0 Credit Score Chart to find out where you fall:
How Do I Find My Credit Score?
Want to find out where you fall? With Turbo, you can gain insight into your current VantageScore and get the financial information you need to know before applying for any type of loan or credit card.
Your credit score is just one key piece of the puzzle, and with Turbo you can get the three key numbers that affect your financial health—and get insight into how lenders might see you. Beyond learning your VantageScore rating, you can take a look at your verified income, and learn about your debt-to-income ratio.
If you’re ready to take action, check your credit score for free and learn what it takes to get your rating back into a good credit score range, let us help.
How Do I Improve My Credit Score?
If you’ve discovered your credit score needs help, don’t fret.
There are plenty of things you can do that may right a credit wrong, it might just take a bit of diligence and some financial elbow grease.
Here are a few actionable tips that may help get you started:
- Keep an eye on your credit card balances: The less of your available credit you use, the better off your credit score may be. Keep an eye on your balance and keep it as low as possible.
- Eliminate balances when you can: If you have small balances on numerous credit cards, consider paying them off completely.
- Pay bills on time: Make your payments each month like clockwork. Set up automated payments to ensure you never miss a bill—your credit score may thank you.
If your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, don’t panic. Obsessing over where you fall on the range won’t do you any favors. Keep your credit spending habits in check by following the above tips, and use these credit score ranges as a guideline.