Credit Score Scale – Good, Average and Bad

Whether you like it or not, your credit score has a huge impact on your financial life. It determines your eligibility for credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and even jobs.

It’s shocking, but 47% of Americans don’t know their own credit scores – it’s like not knowing your Social Security Number or cellphone number! You should get your free credit scores from all 3  bureaus and find out whether you’re in the good, average or bad range.

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 on the FICO and VANTAGE3 scales. Where does your credit stand?

850-740 range

You have an excellent credit score. You are absolutely the best borrower lenders can imagine. You’ll easily secure almost any loan of your choosing and receive the very best interest rates, lowest fees, and repayment terms.

“Once you get into the upper echelon of FICO scores, in the high 700, lenders don’t care how high your score is or isn’t. You’re still going to get a good lending rate.” –

Insurance companies are more likely to give you absolutely the best deals, beacause you are less likely to commit fraud. Thanks to your amazing credit responsibility, you are a very attractive person to prospective employers, too.

  • Average Mortgage Interest Rates: 3.034%
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 3.321%

What you can do right now: nothing. Just keep doing what you’re doing!

740-700 range

You have a good credit score. For most lenders and insurance companies, your credit is just as good as anyone from the top-tier range. You will have absolutely no problems getting approved for a new credit card, auto loan or a mortgage. Expect very competitive interest rates, low origination fees and longer payment terms.

“While 700 is a good credit score, it’s not a great credit score. Some lenders are now looking for borrowers to have at least a 720 credit score to get the best rates.” -

The majority of credit cards (including those with rewards) are available to you. Rates will be very low or close to zero. Getting an insurance policy should be an easy task, too. Your monthly insurance premiums will be somewhat higher than for those with top scores, however, you should have no problems with getting an insurance policy for literally anything you want.

  • Average Mortgage Interest Rates: 3.256%
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 4.754%

What you can do right now: get your credit card debt under control and make sure that your bills are always paid on time.

699-641 range

You have an average credit score. Credit bureaus are less likely to trust you, and creditors won’t either. If this score is a result of slow payments, you will have a hard time finding a lender willing to work with you. And if you find any, you will often be required to secure a loan with a down payment or a property.

“A borrower with a score of 660 or greater is considered to be of less risk for the lender.” –

This score is an absolute minimum to get a fair mortgage and auto loan terms. Insurance policies will be up by a significant amount for people in this range due to the potential risk for non-payment of premiums.

  • Average Mortgage Interest Rates: 3.647%
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 6.795%

What you can do right now: Ensure that your bills are paid on time, balances on your credit cards are low and collection account are paid. However, if you don’t know what’s damaging your score, request a copy of your credit report immediately! Check it for errors, dispute it and watch your score raise during the next few months. You may also get your free credit score here.

640-500 range

You have a bad credit score. You are still able to get a loan, but on the creditors terms only ‘ which means high interest rates, secured loans (loans backed by assets belonging to the borrower) or co-signed loans (a second individual also signs a loan agreement and takes responsibility for the debt).

“Score of 640 is often used as a cutoff point. Fall below that and you are likely to be labeled a high risk.” –

You represent a very high credit risk to the lenders and you won’t be able to get a mortgage at all (in most cases). You will be able to get an auto loan, but your interest rates will be around 15%. Insurance policy and car insurance will be very limited for you and cost significantly more than for those with good scores. Also, your choice of credit card is very limited if you fall in this range. However, if you still want a credit card, consider choosing a secured credit card.

  • Average Mortgage Interest Rates: very hard or impossible
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 15.608%

What you can do right now: It’s time to wake up and take a good hard look at where you are in your financial life. Though your current situation may be not your own fault, you are the one responsible for fixing it. Sit down, take a deep breath, and read my detailed article about how to improve credit score.

500-300 range

You have a very bad credit score. Getting any type of credit is an extremely difficult challenge. Even if you find someone willing to give you a loan, do not consider yourself lucky ‘ financing terms will cost you a lot!

‘The worse your credit is, the higher your level of risk is and the higher your interest rates will be. This difference can amount to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a mortgage’s lifetime’ –

Getting a mortgage with this score is almost impossible. You still may get an auto loan, but expect almost double interest rates. Many banks may not even let you open a checking account with this score. Unofortunately, most insurance companies will refuse to work with you, based on the risks you pose.

  • Average Mortgage Interest Rates: very hard or impossible
  • Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 17% or impossible

What you can do right now: If you have a really bad credit score, the best option is to consult a credit repair expert. He will provide you with a very detailed action plan to help you get out of the debt fast. This is a proven and tested method to raise your score and get yourself back into good financial shape.

How to get my credit score?

Simply visit one of the credit reporting or credit bureaus websites and get it.



  • Anna on Mar 01, 2013

    I’m sitting on 620 credit score for a very long time. I’m a student and have short credit history. What would be the best way for me to improve my score fast?

    Thanks in advance, Anna.

  • Michael Long on Mar 05, 2013

    Valuable informations about credit score scale. Big thanks for including lots of citations from other websites, this was especially helpful for me. Can you tell maybe what is a good credit score in 2013?

  • Monica Hoang on Mar 07, 2013

    So it’s all about FICO credit score range. But what about other credit scales, such as VANTAGE or PLUS? Can we expect more information anytime soon? I checked my free credit score at Credit Score Wiz. Is it in the good range for a mortgage?

  • Peter on Mar 09, 2013

    I absolutely agree with the statement that anything below 740 credit score is bad these days. I’ve had a 728 credit score and I was turned down for a car loan… I felft bad… I’ve had to improve my score a bit. After this I was accepted with 740.

  • Jeremy P. Johnson on Apr 30, 2013

    So now FICO and VANTAGE3 scoring systems are in the same range, from 300 to 850, am I correct? Any source on this? Can’€™t find anything in Google. Thanks. I check my credit score free and it’s 720.

  • Simon on May 06, 2013

    Yes Jeremy, you are correct.

    This is a recent change, implemented in April 2013.

    There is no more 500-900 scale on VANTAGE – they decided to switch to 300-850 range.

    Good move if you ask me, they can now get more pepople to use their scores. And consumers will no longer be confused with different scoring systems and different ranges.

    For more informations visit

  • ann on May 26, 2013

    My credit score is a 640 . How do I get it higher I paid all my bills on time.

  • Simon on May 27, 2013

    @ann, I am preparing a guide on this subject. It will be ready in a few days.

    Update: The guide is already here: