Credit Score Scale: What is a Good FICO Score?

fico credit score range chart

Generally speaking, a good credit score is anything above 700 points.

However, if you look across the Internet, you’ll see that everyone has their own opinion. In a way, this makes sense – it reflects the industry.

Every single lender has their own criteria when determining an individual’s creditworthiness.

And in many cases, credit scores only count as one factor. A major factor no doubt, but the individual creditor gets to choose exactly how they want to evaluate credit applicants.

Because lenders may pull your credit score from multiple sources or may like to look at several different credit scoring models, what becomes important is the range you fall into.

That is basically the purpose of the credit models having these ranges in the first place.

They function as fast-reference for lenders. Therefore, you can use them for the same purpose. Focus on the ranges your scores fall into rather than obsessing over every little point. You can check your latest credit scores from all bureaus using freescore360.com or scoresense.com.

Continue reading to find out exactly where your credit score puts you in the eyes of lenders.

Ranges For Popular Credit Scoring Models

Below you can find a list of the most popular credit scoring models and their ranges.

NoCredit Score TypeRangeSource
1FICO300-850(source)
2Vantage 3.0300-850(source)
3Vantage 1.0 and 2.0501-990(source)
4PLUS score models330-830(source)
5TransUnion (TransRisk)300-850(source)
6Experian National Equivalency Score360-840(source)
7Equifax Credit Score280-850(source)
8CreditXpert300-900(source)
9ScoreSense350-850(source)

What is a Good FICO Credit Score?

ScoreRangePopulation
Excellent800-85019,9%
Very Good750-79916,6%
Good700-74913%
Fair650-69919,9%
Poor600-64910,3%
Very Bad300-59921,9%

Credit Score Scale: From Excellent To Bad

The standard FICO credit-scoring scale goes from 300 to 850, with higher numbers reflecting better credit.

Excellent Credit Score: 800-850

excellent score

If you have a credit score of 800 to 850 (excellent credit), then you’re in the 20% elite of potential borrowers. This is the highest you can go in the range. It means you manage your debt well, pay your debts off quickly, don’t allow payments to go late, you don’t have any collection accounts and you have no negative mark on the credit report. You have set up several lines of credit of various types, and you have a stable work history.

This kind of credit means you get the best possible rates and terms and approval are pretty much a guarantee. You don’t need a perfect 850 to get the “elite” treatment, anything over 800 is seen as the “cream of the crop.”

Bear in mind that some lenders think 720 is excellent too. It’s all dependent on which kind of credit you’re looking to attain and the lender themselves.

Very Good Credit Score: 750-799

very good score
Most lenders don’t see much of a difference in the numbers 750 and 800. You’ll be approved for credit, and you’ll still be given the best rates possible. However, it’s important to understand that there is still a difference.

That difference involves the debt-to-income ratio. If you miss a payment every so often or your employment history is a bit erratic, your credit score can drop.

Nevertheless, you’re still offered all kinds of credit.

Good Credit Score: 700-749

good score

From this point on, the lower your credit score, the more money that comes out of your pocket.

A good credit score will still that you’re approved, but you may pay more in interest and don’t get the kind of rates you’d see with the two above mention score ranges. This kind of score means you’ve had accounts go into collections, you may have been able to make a couple of payments, or you have a plethora of credit card debt.

Regardless of the situation and even if you’re keeping it under control, it’s having an impact on your credit score. You can still be approved for loans, good insurance, a home and a job.

Fair Credit Score: 650-699

fair score
With this credit score, you’re deemed to have acceptable credit – and it typically means you’re heading in one of two directions (better or worse) – you’re improving your credit after some rough times, or you’ve hit a bad patch.

When you’re sitting in the average credit range, creditors look deep in the credit report details. They want to know why your scores are the way they are. If you’re not able to make timely payments, you’re going to have a hard time getting new credit.

With this range, you’ll be asked for collateral or down payments, and you’ll pay more in fees, insurance premiums and interest rates.

It may sound odd that a fair credit score would keep you from getting a job. However, many job employers in the chemical, defense, financial and pharmaceutical market may be wary of hiring you with a less than ideal credit score.

However, with a little time and effort, you can bring your score up. Decrease the amount of debt you have and pay your bills on time. Before you know it, the score will go up.

Poor or Bad Credit Score: 600-649

poor score

This is not the place anyone wants to be.

Bad credit is often a direct result of real-life hardships.

Also referred to as “subprime” credit, it’s likely you’ve had multiple or ongoing credit issues. Poor payment history, collection accounts, bankruptcy filings, or out-of-control credit card debt could all be culprits. Likely, a couple of them are working in tandem against you.

Unfortunately, credit scores don’t take into account what may have contributed to your poor credit score. All that really matters to lenders is that you clean it up.

RELATED: How to fix your bad credit?

For now, you’ll be subject to the lender’s terms for just about any line of credit for which you can get approval. You might need a cosigner. And you may still need a significant down payment or collateral as well. Mortgage loans are most likely out of your reach completely.

Insurances companies will likely offer you a limited selection of their products and services at much higher rates than your equally-healthy, higher-credit counterparts.

Whatever is going on in your life, you’ve got to get this under control. If you allow things to continue this way, echoes of what put you in this position will continue to affect your future.

Very Bad: 300-599

bad score

This barely registers as credit, and it just means you have horrible credit. The only group of lenders willing to extend credit are those that specialize in this lending and typically ask for collateral and down payments.

You’ll have a trouble attaining insurance and employers who look at credit reports won’t even offer you a position.

A low credit score means you have fewer options.

You also you shouldn’t even try to until you start rebuilding your credit. You do this by the following:

  • Making timely payments
  • Decreasing your debt
  • Getting rid of the collection accounts

A credit score this low often means a repossession, bankruptcy or active legal judgment. In fact, you may also have numerous active collection accounts.

The only other way to have a low credit score is to not have any credit at all. If you don’t have any kind of credit information, it means you’re a credit newbie. Don’t fret though! It’s easy to build a good credit score with no credit than to rebuilding credit from a terrible credit score.

If your credit score drops to under 600, it may be a wise idea to talk with a credit repair company to develop a plan of attack to increase it again.

You know your score range, now what?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different credit score ranges and how they may affect you.

credit score scale, from good to bad

Remember, you don’t need the highest score to be approved for credit, but the higher your credit range, the better off you’ll be financially.