What is a good credit score anyway? With all of the talk about things that will increase ones credit score who really knows what a good credit score is in the first place?
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Well, here are some credit score statistics that will hopefully shed some light on the topic:
- Credit scores range from 300 to 850 (Source: MyFICO)
- The average US credit score is 693 (Source: Experian)
- The region of the country with the highest average credit score is New England clocking in at a very respectable 712 while the region of the country with the lowest average credit score is the West South Central United States coming in at a less than stellar 673 (Source: National Score Index)
The above credit statistics should lay the framework for understanding what a “good” credit score really is. According to the above data if you have a credit score of 694 or higher than you can consider yourself a better than average credit risk as you have a higher credit score than 50% of Americans.
If you are one of those people that wants to be the very absolute best and shoot for a credit score in the 800′s then the more power to you but you should know that it is generally accepted that the top tier of credit scores starts at around 720 and above.
Anything higher than 720 will net you just about the same interest rate as someone that is sitting dead even at the 720 mark. So what is considered a good credit score? 720 or above is about as close to the best answer that you can give for that question.
If you are someone who is worried about being considered a “sub prime” risk and as such being hit with high credit card interest rates and high mortgage rates then you should know that sub prime is typically used to describe any credit score that is below 580. Of course, different lenders and credit card issuers have different measures of sub prime and many lenders use a cut off mark of 640 rather than 580.
Many have also compared the different credit scoring tiers to an A – F grading system where anything that is graded C and above is generally considered a good credit score.
“A” Grade – 720 credit score or higher
“B” Grade – 620 credit score to 719 credit score
“C” Grade – 580 credit score to 619 credit score
“D” Grade – 550 credit score to 579 credit score
“F” Grade - 550 credit score and lower
(Source: 580 Credit Score)
How can you make a good credit score better?
For starters, use your credit cards wisely. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you should cut up your credit cards or not use them at all because a solid history of using credit wisely (making payments on time every month, not utilizing more than 50% of your available credit limit, etc.) will slowly but surely increase your credit score over time. Be sure to keep a close eye on your credit score by using a free credit report service that will monitor your score for any hint of foul play or identity theft.
If you are wondering, “What’s my credit score?” then be sure to visit the free credit report service page to get your free credit score from all 3 credit bureaus with enrollment in a credit monitoring service.
To find the credit card that is best for your specific situation be sure and use our free credit card “Chaser” tool to compare top credit card offers online!
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