A few weeks ago I wrote about what "fair credit" means in the credit-scoring world, so I thought it would be a good idea to follow up on that post with a brief explanation of what "bad credit" means as well. After all, there's often a very fine line these days which separates the two categories. If you have bad credit, you're probably aware of the fact that your credit isn't stellar. But just how bad is it? Is it bad, poor, fair, or just below average? Well, to answer these questions you first need to take a close look at your real FICO scores. I'm not talking about all the so-called "free" credit scores you can get your hands on by signing up for some random credit monitoring product or paying a few extra bucks to the credit bureaus after pulling your free credit reports. Those scores are practically worthless and should only be used if you can get the scores for free too.