What Is A Good FICO Score? An In-Depth Look For The First Time

Paying your payments on time is a crucial part of regaining control over your finances. Knowing when your payments are due and making it a habit to pay them on time will help you feel less stressed. A FICO score tells lenders how likely you are to make on-time bill payments.

Paying your bills on time means your money is being saved, your credit score is being boosted and you have been enabled to get lower-interest credit in the future. Keeping track of your bills can also help you maintain a healthy checking account by aligning bill pay-by dates with your paycheck or other sources of money. Paying your bills on time is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it aids in the development of positive credit history and can help you improve your credit score. When you pay your bills on time, creditors record your good payment habits to Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, the three major credit bureaus. The higher your credit score is, the more regularly you pay your debts on time.

Your credit report and credit score are used by prospective creditors to assess whether or not to approve your application, how much credit to extend (such as a mortgage loan or line of credit), and how much interest to charge. The stronger your credit history and score, the more probable it is that your future credit applications will be approved—and at a cheaper interest rate. Paying your bills on time can not only improve your credit score but will also save you money. You will not be charged a late fee or penalty if you pay your bills on time, which may be as high as $35, in addition to earning cheaper interest rates on your credit accounts.

You won’t have to worry about an interest rate hike either. Check the fine print, especially on credit card agreements, because the company may reserve the right to raise your interest rate significantly (from 2.9 percent to more than 20 percent) if you make even one late payment.

A FICO Score is a three-digit figure that indicates how risky a potential borrower is to a lender. Credit scores, which range from 300 to 850, allow lenders to rapidly assess a consumer’s creditworthiness without having to go through their full credit history. As a result, FICO ratings are used by everyone from credit card firms and insurance companies to mortgage lenders and property managers. Borrowers with higher scores have a better chance of getting approved and have access to lower rates. The lender or creditor analyzing a consumer’s credit profile determines what constitutes a good FICO Score. However, lenders normally consider FICO scores above 670 to be good, while scores between 670 and 740 are considered “Good” on the official FICO scale.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number that ranges from 300 to 850 and represents a person’s creditworthiness. A borrower’s credit score improves the way he or she appears to potential lenders. A credit score is calculated using information from your credit histories, such as the number of accounts you have open, the total amount of debt you owe, and your repayment history, among other things. Credit scores are used by lenders to assess the likelihood of a borrower repaying a loan on time.

What is a FICO score?

The information in your credit reports determines your FICO Score, which is a three-digit number. It aids lenders in determining your likelihood of repaying a loan. This has an impact on how much you can borrow, how long you have to pay it back, and how much it will cost (the interest rate). Lenders need a quick and reliable way to decide whether or not to lend you money when you ask for credit. They’ll almost always look at your FICO scores. A FICO Score can be thought of as a summary of your credit report. It determines how long you’ve had credit, how much credit you have, how the percent of your available credit is used, and whether you’ve made timely payments. Not only does a FICO Score assist lenders in making better, faster decisions about who they loan money to, but it also assists individuals like you in obtaining fair and timely credit when you require it. Because FICO Scores are based on your credit information, you may impact your score by paying bills on time, avoiding excessive debt, and making wise credit decisions.

The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) introduced FICO Scores thirty years ago to offer an industry standard for creditworthiness grading that was fair to both lenders and consumers. There were numerous distinct scores before the FICO Score, each with its method of calculation (some even including gender and political affiliation).

What is the significance of FICO scores?

FICO Scores help millions of people just like you acquire the credit they need to pay for things like college, a first house, or medical bills. Even when setting up the terms of service, certain insurance and energy firms will check FICO Scores. A strong FICO Score can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees since lenders are more inclined to provide lower rates if you are a reduced risk. Overall, fair, rapid, consistent, and predictive credit scores help keep credit costs low for the general public. The more credit is available, the more lenders can lend, and the more efficient their procedures are, the lower costs are, and the more savings are passed on to borrowers.

What makes a FICO Score different from other credit scores?

The Fair Isaac Corporation is the only company that creates FICO scores, which are used by over 90% of leading lenders when making lending decisions. Why? Because FICO Scores are the industry standard for determining creditworthiness accurately and fairly. They assist millions of consumers in obtaining credit for a home, a new automobile, or a one-time purchase. You may have seen advertisements for various credit scores in the past, and you may have even purchased them. These alternative credit scores use a different formula than FICO Scores to determine your scores. Other credit ratings may appear to be similar to the FICO Score, but they aren’t. Ninety percent of the top lenders use only FICO Scores.

What does a good FICO score look like?

Every lender decides for itself what constitutes a good FICO Score and how they will use it and other data throughout the loan approval process. Many lenders consider scores above 670 to be indicative of strong creditworthiness. The higher your credit score, the lower your risk, and the more probable creditors will lend to you. Creditors recognize general score ranges to assist them in making lending decisions. These ranges can also be used to set goals for yourself. Your score can be improved over time. Your FICO® Score is updated regularly because the information in your credit reports is constantly changing.

FICO Scores by Percent of Scorable Population

If <580 then the score is poor because your score is well below the average score of U.S. consumers and demonstrates to lenders that you are a risky borrower. If the score is in the range 580-669 then the score is fair as your score is below the average score of U.S. consumers, though many lenders will approve loans with this score.

If the score is in the range 670-739 then the score is good as your score is near or slightly above the average of U.S. consumers and most lenders consider this a good score. If your score is in the range of 740-799, it is excellent because it is higher than the national average and shows lenders that you are a very dependable borrower. If your score is 800 or above, it is significantly higher than the national average for consumers in the United States, indicating to lenders that you are an exceptional borrower.

How can you find out what your FICO score is?

Understanding your FICO Score can assist you in gaining control of your money and preparing for the loan or credit card application process. There are several ways to check your credit score, fortunately. Begin by analyzing your credit card statements and the website of your credit card issuer. Many issuers provide free FICO ratings every month, and some even provide the service to non-cardholders. You can also go to FICO’s website and sign up for one of three monthly plans that include FICO scores, credit reports, identity monitoring, and other services.

What can you do to raise your FICO score?

It takes time and effort to improve your FICO Score, but it is doable. To begin raising your credit score, follow these guidelines:

  • Examine your credit report for any mistakes and file a dispute.
  • Make sure you pay all of your payments on schedule.
  • Make up for any missed payments.
  • If you suspect you’ll be late on a payment, contact your creditor.
  • With the help of a nonprofit credit counseling firm, create a debt management strategy.
  • Make more than the minimum monthly payments to pay off debt sooner.
  • Maintain modest balances on revolving lines of credit, such as credit cards.
  • To boost your available credit, avoid opening any new credit cards.
  • Maintain your oldest accounts by keeping them open and in good standing.

Vantage score vs. FICO

The FICO Score and Vantage Score models are both designed to assist lenders in assessing the risk of lending to potential borrowers. However, there are a few traits that set the two brands apart from one another. The following are the significant differences and similarities between a FICO Score and a Vantage Score:

  • Founders: The FICO scoring model was developed by FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation), a publicly-traded company founded in 1956. The three major credit bureaus, on the other hand, produced Vantage Score in 2006.
  • Purpose: The purpose of both FICO and VantageScores is to assess a consumer’s chances of making on-time bill payments.
  • Versions: FICO provides several generic and industry-specific score kinds, with FICO 8 being the most popular, while not being the most recent. VantageScore comes in a variety of variants, the most recent of which are 3.0 and 4.0.
  • Range: VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0 scores vary from 300 to 850, similar to FICO ratings. Older VantageScore models, on the other hand, vary from 501 to 990.
  • Calculation: Credit scores are calculated using characteristics such as payment history, credit utilization ratio, and credit mix. However, the VantageScore and FICO scoring models weight criteria differently, and what defines a good score varies between brands.
  • Minimum scoring criteria: Because of the minimum scoring criteria for each model, more people qualify for a VantageScore than a FICO Score. While FICO requires clients to have at least one tradeline that is at least six months old (along with one that has acted within the last six months), VantageScore just requires one tradeline that is at least six months old.
  • Use by lenders: Lenders utilize FICO Score: FICO Score is the most widely used credit score, with FICO estimating that it is used in about 90% of loan decisions. Furthermore, FICO is the only credit scoring model that government-sponsored lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accept. Keep in mind, however, that using one credit score does not rule out using another, and many lenders use both FICO and VantageScores for various purposes.

What constitutes a good credit score according to lenders?

Lenders, such as credit card companies and mortgage companies, may have their definitions of “good credit” when deciding whether or not to provide you credit and at what interest rate. In actuality, though, a strong credit score is the one that enables you to obtain what you require or desire, whether it’s emergency credit or cheaper mortgage rates.

What is a good credit score for purchasing a vehicle?

When searching for a car, if your credit score is below 700, be prepared for queries concerning bad things on your credit report. Car loans are commonly granted for those with substantial credit problems, but you may not qualify for a cheap rate. Learn about the rates you might expect based on your score.

What is considered a decent credit score when purchasing a home?

To receive a mortgage, you don’t need perfect credit. Credit scores in the 500s are not uncommon. Credit scores, on the other hand, predict the likelihood that you will not repay as planned, thus lenders reward higher credit ratings with lower interest rates. Learn about your mortgage alternatives based on your credit score.

What is a good credit score for apartment renting?

Landlords and property managers are more interested in your credit history than your perfect credit score. Learn more about what a credit check reveals to a landlord.

How do you raise your FICO credit score?

Your credit score will rise if you exercise good credit habits regularly. This is what you must do:

Pay all of your bills on time. This is significant since your payment history has the most influence on your credit score of all the components. A missed or late payment can have a significant negative impact on your credit score and can remain on your credit report for up to seven years. Keep your credit card balances far below your credit limits; ideally, credit utilization should be less than 30%, with lower being better. High utilization lowers your credit score, but once you’re able to cut your amounts and the reduced utilization shows up on your credit reports, the damage will diminish. You may also be able to reduce your credit use by increasing your credit limit or adding an authorized user to a rarely used card with a large limit.

Keep credit cards open unless there is a compelling cause to close them, such as exorbitant fees or poor service. Keeping older accounts open improves your average account age, which has a minor impact on your credit score. Additionally, canceling an account reduces your total credit limit, increasing your credit utilization. Avoid submitting many credit applications in a short period. Credit checks for credit decisions can result in a modest, temporary drop in your score, and numerous in a short period can add up. That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework before applying for a credit card.Keep an eye on your credit reports and dispute any information that you believe is erroneous or outdated (most negative information falls off after seven years).

What does a FICO score of 8 indicate?

FICO Score 8 is the most widely used of the various FICO scoring model versions used by businesses to assess a borrower’s risk. The mechanism that calculates your FICO credit score is modified regularly, much like a smartphone or computer software upgrade is supposed to improve performance. The original FICO credit score was released in 1989, and since then, FICO has produced updated versions that slightly alter the methodology used to calculate your three-digit credit score regularly. The FICO Score 8 – the credit score’s eighth major iteration – is the most extensively used by businesses.

FICO scores are the most commonly used credit score by businesses for determining whether or not a person is a good “risk” for repaying a loan. That makes learning the most extensively used version of the company’s grading system worthwhile. The more you understand about the FICO 8 scoring process, the more power you’ll have over your ability to build or keep a high credit score.

For businesses, FICO 8 hits a sweet spot

Businesses are not forced to upgrade to the latest version, even though FICO’s data scientists release new versions every few years. In 2009, the FICO 8 score was introduced. FICO 9 and FICO 10 have been released since then. However, many organizations find that the FICO 8 algorithm captures the crucial characteristics they need to know, so they continue with it. As a result, when lenders examine your FICO credit score, whether it’s based on Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion credit report data, they’ll almost certainly utilize the FICO 8 scoring algorithm. The FICO 8 score ranges from 300 to 850.

A FICO score of 700 or higher is considered good. Businesses may also employ industry-specific versions of credit scores. When you apply for a new credit card or a credit limit increase, for example, the FICO Bankcard Score 8 is the most commonly used. It’s fairly similar to the FICO 8 base score, but it gives your credit card account management history more weight.

What has FICO 8 changed?

FICO Score 8 differs from earlier editions in four significant ways:

When it comes to late payments, it takes a more nuanced approach. Your payment history, which accounts for 35 percent of your FICO score, is a crucial element in determining your FICO score. The FICO 8 scoring model changed how late payments on a single account were handled. The scoring system is more liberal than earlier editions if it’s a one-time blunder. Late payments, on the other hand, lower your FICO 8 score.

The importance of approaching a credit limit on a single card grew. Your “credit utilization ratio,” which accounts for 30% of your credit score, is one of the most critical factors determining your credit score. This metric determines how much of your total credit limit you’re using. Keeping your overall balances below 30% of your total available credit will not harm your credit score, as a general rule. You also don’t want to get too close to maxing out any particular card. If a single card’s balance is near its credit limit, FICO 8 modified the system to penalize a score more than prior editions.

Squabbles over little collections are no longer relevant. When FICO 8 was introduced, the scoring algorithm ceased paying attention to any accounts submitted to a collection agency with a balance of less than $100.

The “authorized user” strategy was successfully thwarted. The benefit of becoming an authorized user is that if the account holder has a high FICO score, it will assist the authorized user in building a high credit score. When a family member adds a child or other relative to a card account, this is a clever and legitimate use of authorized users. Allowing a stranger to use a card as an authorized user is a less lawful use. Credit repair companies were increasingly employing this strategy to assist clients in rebuilding their credit ratings. With FICO 8, the data scientists devised a method of detecting this inappropriate use and excluding it from scoring calculations.

Changes to FICO scores are usually minor

It’s crucial to understand that the adjustments in each new version of the FICO scoring model are more tweaks than big shifts. A new edition tends to refine the weighting or importance of a few indicators with the underlying purpose of offering businesses the greatest possible assessment of whether you’ll be able to repay your debts or keep up with your credit card payments. Changes are sometimes made as the corporate world improves its knowledge of the key differences between various types of debt.

Medical debt, for example, has become a growing reality for many families as out-of-pocket medical bills have risen. Before FICO Score 9, sending the unpaid medical debt to collections had the same negative impact as sending the non-essential debt to collections. Splurging on medical treatment, on the other hand, is not the same as overspending on travel and leisure. FICO credit ratings now ignore when unpaid medical debt is forwarded to a collection agency, thanks to FICO Score 9, which was launched in 2014.

The remainder

The computer model that calculates your FICO credit score is updated regularly. Businesses that check credit scores can use whichever model they want; they aren’t obligated to upgrade to the most recent version. The FICO Score 8, which was released more than a decade ago, is the most extensively utilized FICO score. Knowing what factors influence a FICO 8 credit score might assist you in achieving or maintaining a good FICO credit score.

What is a good Equifax credit score?

Credit scores between 580 and 669 are regarded as fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and higher are considered exceptional, depending on the credit scoring methodology. Higher credit scores indicate that you have a history of good credit activity, which may give potential lenders and creditors more confidence when reviewing a credit request.

Equifax’s credit score is an educational credit score that can help you figure out where you are with your credit. Lenders and creditors use a variety of credit scores, and the Equifax credit score will not be used to judge your creditworthiness.


FICO® generates a variety of credit scores for consumers. The organization creates “basic” FICO® Ratings for lenders across a variety of industries, as well as industry-specific credit scores for credit card issuers and auto lenders.

FICO® Scores vary from 300 to 850, with 670 to 739 being considered “excellent” by FICO. FICOindustry-specific ®’s credit scores range from 250 to 900 points. The intermediate categories, on the other hand, have the same groupings, and an “excellent” industry-specific FICO® Score ranges from 670 to 739.

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson

Sandra Johnson was a few years out of school and took a job as a life insurance agent in California, selling coverage door-to-door for Prudential. The experience taught her about the technical components of insurance and its benefits for individuals and society, as well as the misunderstandings people often have about insurance. She has over ten years’ experience in the insurance industry, having worked as both a Broker and Underwriter, assisting clients across a broad range of industries. At Insurance Noon, Sarah diligently gathers all the required information and curates up pieces to provide meaningful insurance solutions. Her personal value proposition is to demonstrate a genuine interest in always adding value for clients.Her determined approach to guiding clients has turned her into a platinum adviser to multiple insurers.

Insurance Noon is the world's leading source of insurance related content on the web, focusing on industry news, buying guides, reviews, and much more.