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What Is a Credit score? Understanding Credit Score Ranges

Andrew Omalley Updated: May 30, 2023 • 5 min read
credit score

A credit score is an indication of how likely someone is to pay back a loan on time. A scoring model utilizes info for your credit report in order to calculate your exact score.

 Most people will have a basic idea of what a credit score is but they mightn’t be too sure about why it is important, how it is calculated, and how you can improve your own score.

 This article will look into each of these key topics, allowing you to have a good grasp of one of the most important aspects of personal finance. You’ll then be able to figure out what steps you need to take to make sure that your credit score is in an optimal position for your individual needs. 

Credit Score Ranges

Knowing the different credit score ranges can help you understand where you stand and how lenders view your credit history. A FICO score below 629 is considered bad credit, while a score between 630-689 is fair. A score between 690-719 is considered good credit, and a score of 720 or above is considered excellent credit. It's important to note that these ranges may vary slightly depending on the credit bureau and the specific lender. Overall, maintaining a good credit score can help you qualify for better loan terms, lower interest rates, and other financial benefits.

Lendstart Credit Score Ranges


How Does Credit Scores Work 

A lender will look at your credit score in order to determine whether or not they should extend you a loan and at what rate of interest. It allows them to determine the chances of getting paid back on time and in full. 

Credit Scores Explained: How Your Score is Calculated 

A scoring model is used to calculate your credit score, with the information coming from your credit report. This means that the scoring model will look at your past interactions with debt in order to judge the likelihood of you paying back future debt on time.

Many different factors go into the creation of a credit score. Some of the key factors include your payment history, current levels of unpaid debt, length of your credit history, percentage of available credit used, the type of debt you have and when it started, as well as your new applications for credit. 

What is a Good Credit Score? 

What is a good credit score for one person might be different from somebody else. Everyone’s personal financial situations are very unique and individualized. However, there is a general range used in order to categorize a credit score as being good.

A credit score range of between 719 and 690 is generally considered to be good. A score of 630 to 682 is deemed to be fair, while a score of 720 or greater is an excellent credit score. The higher your credit score, the better rates that you might be able to get when borrowing money.

A good credit score shows that you have been responsible in the past when dealing with credit. Many lenders will only deal with people who have a credit score of at least 670. This shows how important it is to strive toward getting a good credit score. 

What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a House?

When it comes to buying a house, having a good credit score can make all the difference. While the minimum credit score required to get a mortgage varies depending on the lender, a score of 620 is generally considered the minimum threshold. However, to qualify for the best mortgage rates and terms, you typically need a credit score of 700 or higher. Remember that lenders will also look at other factors, such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, and employment history, when determining whether to approve your mortgage application. Therefore, it's important to maintain good credit and improve your credit score if necessary, before applying for a mortgage to increase your chances of getting approved and securing favorable loan terms.

What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a Car?

When it comes to buying a car, having a good credit score can make a significant difference in the financing options available to you. A good credit score to buy a car is typically considered to be 680 or higher, although some lenders may require a higher score, such as 700 or above. This score range can help you qualify for better loan terms and interest rates, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

However, if you're looking to buy a used car, you may be able to secure financing with a slightly lower credit score. A good credit score to buy a used car is typically around 620 or higher. Again, it's important to keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Specific lenders may have different requirements depending on a variety of factors such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment.

What is a Good Credit Score to Get a Loan?

A FICO score of 670 or higher is generally considered a good credit score for getting a personal loan. However, credit score requirements may vary depending on the lender, the loan amount, and other factors such as your income and employment history. It's always a smart idea to check with the lender to determine their specific credit score requirements for a personal loan. Additionally, having a good credit score can also help you qualify for a lower interest rate on your personal loan.

What is a Good Credit Score to Get a Credit Card?

In general, a good credit score to get a credit card is between 690-719 or higher. However, credit card issuers may have different requirements and consider other factors such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history. It's always a good idea to check your credit score before applying for a credit card and to research the requirements of different credit cards to find one that fits your needs and credit profile.

How to Improve Your Credit Score 

Having a better credit score is never going to be a bad thing. It can potentially help you to secure a loan in the first place, as well as possibly allow you to get more favorable repayment terms. 

There are a lot of different ways in which you can boost your credit score. Some of these steps are quite quick and easy to implement, while others are more long-term solutions. Here is a look at some of the most effective ways to improve your credit score: 

  • Conduct a review of your credit reports to see what is aiding and hurting your score
  • Make sure to make all of your debt repayments on time
  • Aim to minimize credit utilization (30% or less)
  • Minimize the number of new credit requests that carry hard checks
  • Deal with any delinquencies
  • Look into debt consolidation if you’ve many different types of debt
  • Track progress regularly to make further tweaks


As you can see, optimizing your credit score can make life a lot easier for many people. Following a few simple steps can often have a strong impact on boosting your score. This can have the knock-on impact of helping you secure loans and get more favorable terms.

Now that you understand what goes into calculating your score, you can go forward more confidently when dealing with debt and knowing how certain actions might impact your credit score.

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Written by Jessica Cotzin twitter-icon

Jessica Cotzin is a writer and the Lendstart authority on small businesses and personal loans. She has been writing about personal finance and the loans industry for a number of years, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Florida Atlantic University.