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Credit Score Chart How To Interpret Your Numbers

A credit score chart answers the question “what is a good credit score?” Unfortunately, there is not a uniform answer to this question. Scores range between 300 and 850 with higher being better. While imperfect, a credit score chart will tell you whether your score is a good one or not.

The credit score chart given by various analysts agree that the cut off for excellent is either 770 or 760. Freddie Mac, Smart Money, and PBS’s Frontline all agree that 770 is the cut off for “A+ Credit.” Fair Isaac (the company that compiles credit reports) and MSN Money peg the number at 760.

People who score in the mid-700s on the credit score charts should also qualify for good interest rates and many types of credit offers. Lending Tree and Bankrate agree that scores between 650 and 760 qualify you as having above average credit. Fannie Mae says that a score of 740 makes you an excellent risk for a home mortgage.

The average credit score for prime deals in the United States is 733. TransUnion, a major reporter of credit scores reports that a score of 730 is “very good.”

The average credit score overall in the United States is 723. CBS reports that anything above 720 means that you don’t really have to work on your score because you’ll be lumped in with higher scoring individuals by lenders.

As you fall lower on the credit score chart, though, you will start to have trouble in the form of higher interest rates. For instance, the Fannie Mae Foundation reports that a score of 675 can put you in a higher risk category for getting loans. 43 percent of minority home loan applicants have scores below 679 compared with just 32 percent of white applicants.

Newsweek advises people that if your score falls below 680, you should work with a credit rescorer when trying to get a home mortgage loan. The U.S. government’s Office of Thrift Supervision points out that scores below 680 usually do not qualify for prime lending rates on the credit score chart. 660 tends to be the bottom mark for banks being sure you’ll repay the loan.

When you fall below 600 on the credit score chart, you are considered a high risk according to the Dallas Morning News. Both Fair Isaac and the Consumer Federation of America agree that scores below 600 could make it difficult to get loans. CNN/Money says that a score below 600 could trigger a universal default clause in your loan.

Fair Isaac calls anything below 550 “awful.”

While looking at this credit score chart, you can see that there are slight variables in what constitutes a “good,” “average” or “bad” credit score. A 10 point variable can make a difference in interest rates at different banks, which is why it is a good idea to shop around. Your credit score chart is merely a guide to credit, not an indication of absolute cutoffs.

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