What Is a Good Credit Score?

Learn About Credit ScoreAsk a group of people about what they think is good, whether you're discussing Mexican food, ice hockey, cars, cell phones or any other topic, and you'll get answers from every possible perspective. Fortunately, when it comes to the topic of a good credit score, there's a defined range of numbers on which everyone from creditors to consumers are in agreement.

We're not talking about a credit score that's good enough to get a credit card and a cell phone contract. We're talking about the kind of good credit score that saves you money through lower interest rates, inspires lenders to smile when you sit down at their desk, and makes it easy for you to get credit when you need it.

First, some information to help put things in perspective is in order. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 300 the absolute lowest and 850 the almost unattainable maximum. Even the heads of the credit bureaus don't have 850 credit scores, so don't sweat it.

Here's a reliable range of good-to-excellent credit scores:

  • 680 to 724
    Good. Any score in this range should work in your favor when shopping around for an affordable interest rate on a mortgage, car loan, or other type of loan.

  • 725 to 759
    Very good. Your score isn't quite excellent, perhaps because you have an error in your credit report, or maybe because you were late on a car payment a few years ago. A credit score in this range is still quite good, though, and getting credit should be easy.

  • 760 to 850
    Excellent. A credit score in this range means that you've been very proactive and conscientious about your credit management. You can expect lenders to welcome your credit inquiries, and you can negotiate for their best rates from a position of strength.

If your credit scores fall somewhere beneath this scale, don't despair; it merely gives you a goal to work toward. Any one of a number of things could have happened, including plain bad luck (like a medical emergency), which caused your score to fall beneath the range of a good credit score. Start your credit score recovery by getting current copies of your credit reports, looking them over carefully for mistakes, and researching ways to improve your scores. It won't happen overnight, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you'll have a good credit score that works for you instead of against you.


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