One of the most common questions I’m asked is what constitutes a good FICO score, bad FICO score, great FICO score, horrible FICO score, average FICO score, etc?
Here’s the deal on the quality of your FICO score…it’s going to depend. It’s going to depend primarily on the lender or insurance company or landlord or utility company that’s looking at the score and depending on it to make a decision.
There is no one universal “good” FICO score, unless you hit the infamous 850. And, there’s no universal “bad” FICO score, unless you’re in the sub 500 ranges. You’ve heard the phrase “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?” Well, nothing is more true in this case. The “beauty” of your FICO score is in the eyes of the company staring at it.
What is your updated 2013 credit score? Visit here to see your credit report and credit score online now
Whenever people ask me about good and bad FICO scores I always tell them the same thing. A good score is any score that gets you approved for whatever you were applying for with the best terms the lender or insurance company offers. If lender A requires a FICO score of 720+ then that’s a good score. If the lender requires a FICO score of 750+, then that’s a good score.
I can tell you that in today’s lending environment, which is loosening up but still not loose like 2005, a 750+ FICO score will normally get you whatever you’re looking for at the best rate the lender offers. That isn’t meant to mean that a 750 will guarantee you red carpet treatment for any loan from any lender but it’s pretty darn close.
This underscores a very important piece of advice…you don’t have to shoot for FICO 850 to be a great credit risk. You’re not likely to get any better treatment at 850 than you would get at 800 or 780 or even 750. It’s when you start falling below 750 that you’re rolling the dice. If you already have FICO 750+ then you may want to shift your focus to maintenance rather than improvement. Why? You’re much more likely to lower a 750 than you are to improving it.
What is your updated 2013 credit score? Visit here to see your credit report and credit score online now.
Credit Reporting Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognised credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. Follow him on Twitter here.