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What's a "Good" FICO Score?

Like it or not, FICO credit scores have become extremely important numbers in our lives.  So much so that I often refer to them as our "personal reputation" in the financial world. Disregard your FICO scores, and you may find it extremely difficult to get approved for anything from apartment rentals, auto loans, and home loans, to a new credit card.  

Even insurance companies are taking a look at your FICO scores these days to determine if you're a risk worth taking, so there's no doubt that keeping your scores in tip-top shape can save you a lot of hassle and money in the future.

So what is a "good" FICO score in the first place? What should you be aiming for?  Unfortunately, the definition fluctuates and can even change from lender to lender; however, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

The "Good" FICO Score Range

A "good" FICO credit score is usually considered to be anything from about 700-749 on a scale which tops out at 850.  While a score in the low 700s might not guarantee you the very best terms and rates on a loan, you're good credit should at the very least provide you with access to any type of loan you need at a competitive market rate.

The "Excellent" FICO Score Range

Get your FICO scores above 750, and you quickly move into the "excellent credit" range, which should ensure the very best rates on most credit products. As I've discussed in a few other posts on this blog, FICO scores that range from 650 to 699 fall into the "fair" or average credit range.  If your credit scores are in this range and you're looking for a new credit card, make sure you're comparing credit cards for fair credit when conducting your search online.  While the best rewards credit cards on the market may sound quite appealing, the fact is they're reserved for those with good credit and there's a strong chance you won't get approved with a score below 700.
Not Quite There Yet?

Lastly, anything below 650 generally falls into the "bad credit" range; however, don't get discouraged and simply give up on your credit scores altogether if you find yourself in this range.  The good news is your FICO scores can always recover.   With a little time, effort, responsibility, and the help of credit cards for bad credit, you can build positive payment history and once again get your FICO scores back into a more acceptable range. Photo by Images of Money

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past twenty years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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