For a score with a range between 300 and 850, a credit score of 700 is considered good by potential lenders. A score of 800 or above on the same range is considered to be excellent. Most consumers have credit scores that fall between 600 and 750. In 2020, the average FICO® Score☉ in the U.S. reached 710. This is a promising increase of seven points from the previous year. Higher scores can make creditors more confident that you will repay your future debts as agreed. But creditors may also set their own definitions for what they consider to be good or bad credit scores when evaluating consumers for loans and credit cards. We will look at the importance of credit scores.
In part, this depends on the types of borrowers they want to attract. Creditors may also take into account how current events could impact consumers’ credit scores. They then adjust their requirements accordingly. Some lenders create their own custom credit scoring programs. Nevertheless, the two most commonly used credit scoring models are the ones developed by FICO® and VantageScore®.
FICO® creates different types of consumer credit scores. There are “base” FICO® Scores that the company makes for lenders in multiple industries to use, as well as industry-specific credit scores for credit card issuers and auto lenders.
The base FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, and FICO defines the “good” range as 670 to 739. FICO®’s industry-specific credit scores have a different range—250 to 900. However, the middle categories have the same groupings and a “good” industry-specific FICO® Score is still 670 to 739.
VantageScore’s first two credit scoring models had ranges of 501 to 990. The two newest VantageScore credit scores (VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0) use a 300 to 850 range—the same as the base FICO® Scores. For the latest models, VantageScore defines 661 to 780 as its good range.
Common factors can affect all your credit scores, and these are often split into five categories:
FICO® and VantageScore take different approaches to explaining the relative importance of the categories.
Credit scoring models use your credit reports to determine your score, but they can’t score reports that don’t have enough information.
For FICO® Scores, you need:
VantageScore can score your credit report if it has at least one active account, even if the account is only a month old.
If you aren’t scorable, you may need to open a new account or add new activity to your credit report to start building credit. Often this means starting with a credit-builder loan or secured credit card, or becoming an authorized user.