What is a Bad Credit Score?

What is a bad credit score? It is a score below 450 out of an 850. If you want to try to get financing for a home or a car, a credit card or a store card, you will likely not be able to get one with a credit score below 450. In order to end up with a score on the lower end of the credit score scale, you have to have had many years of poor payment history with many late payments, possibly collection accounts, bankruptcy, or possibly repossessions or a foreclosure.


Although people with credit scores that are below 450 usually need some serious credit counseling, what is a bad credit score depends on what you are trying to accomplish in your life. You could conceivably still get a car loan, but you will be required to make a very large down-payment and you will more than likely face such a high interest rate that you will have paid for your car twice over before you ever reach the half way point on making payments. If you want to enjoy low or even 0% interest rates, then you will have to raise your credit score to the 770 level or higher.

Most people don’t really worry about what is a bad credit score until they have one. People who were lucky enough to be taught about responsible use of credit by their parents or peers growing up will know that it takes one-time payments every time, and a low debt-to-income ratio in order to maintain a high credit score. If you weren’t taught about how to use credit to your advantage, you aren’t alone, but there is no better time than now to start taking charge of your financial future. That means learning how raise your credit score one point at a time. Want to start to improve your credit score immediately? Follow the tips below:

  • Instead of hiding from your creditors, and dodging calls, be proactive. Write them and ask for terms that you can afford. If you can’t make the minimum payments on your credit cards, tell your creditors that you are having financial problems (lost your job, have medical responsibilities, an unexpected addition to the family, etc.) and see what they can do to work it out with you. Some creditors will accept lower payments without it affecting your credit score. Try this when asking what is a bad credit score.
  • If creditors won’t reduce your payments, ask them to move the due dates. If you get paid on the 1st and 15th, as many people do but all your bills are due on the 1st, then you may experience an undue hardship and therefore have a hard time paying your bills on time. Instead, move half your bills to a later date in the month and then use your second paycheck to pay them.
  • Any creditor that you have been able to pay on time, every time, continue to develop a good credit relationship with. Even if you no longer use that credit card or store account, keep it open and let the positive history continue to reflect on your credit report.

Following these simple tips will turn your question of “what is a bad credit score” into “how high can my credit score go!”