Selflender logo Back to Data & Guides

Credit Score Ranges & Range Chart

A credit score ranges from 300-850 typically, and serves as a guide to help lenders and others decide whether to do business with you. Not only do lenders routinely rely on credit scores to determine if they should approve or deny new applications, credit scores also help companies figure out how much to charge. In other words, your credit score can affect the interest rate and fees you pay when you borrow money. Two of the most popular brands of credit scores in the United States are FICO and VantageScore, though each credit score is calculated slightly differently. The majority of U.S. lenders (over 90% to be precise) use FICO Scores in their lending decisions. [1] The official website about FICO® Scores. https://www.ficoscore.com/about Most FICO Scores range from 300 to 850, and newer versions of VantageScore credit scores range from 300 to 850 as well. 

In this article

Credit score range charts

Most credit scores fall between 300 to 850—especially those created by FICO and VantageScore Solutions (the two most popular credit score brands in the United States). Below you’ll find several different types of credit scores along with their numerical ranges. There’s also a general guide to show you how lenders might interpret your score, depending on where it falls on each scale. 

Credit score range for FICO

Base FICO Score Category What to Expect
Base FICO Score 800-850 Category Exceptional What to Expect Lenders will likely approve your application and offer you their best rates and terms.
Base FICO Score 740-799 Category Very Good What to Expect Very Good Lenders are likely to approve you for financing offers featuring competitive rates and terms.
Base FICO Score 670-739 Category Good What to Expect Lenders may approve your application, but won't necessarily offer you the best deal.
Base FICO Score 580-669 Category Fair What to Expect Lenders may consider you to be a subprime borrower. If you qualify for financing, you're unlikely to receive the best rates and terms.
Base FICO Score 300-579 Category Very poor What to Expect Lenders may deny your financing applications. If you qualify, you may face high interest rates, less attractive terms, and additional fees.

Source  [7] What is a good credit score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/score-basics/what-is-a-good-credit-score/ [8] What is a credit score? https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-scoresIn addition to the base FICO Scores above, there are industry-specific FICO Scores as well. FICO Auto Scores and FICO Bankcard Scores are two examples. These credit scoring models feature the following credit score ranges: 

Some lenders also pay FICO to create custom scoring models. The credit score ranges on custom models can vary according to the lender’s requests. It can be confusing to realize that different lenders may use different FICO Score versions to analyze your credit reports. But the good news is that higher credit scores on industry-specific and custom scoring models still boil down to the same result. As a borrower, higher scores mean that lenders are more likely to approve your applications and to extend you better offers on financing. 

Credit score range for VantageScore

This chart shows the credit score range for the VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0 models.

Credit Score Category What to Expect
Credit Score 781-850 Category Excellent What to Expect You're likely to qualify for financing and may receive the best interest rates and terms available.
Credit Score 661-780 Category Good What to Expect You're likely to qualify and receivecompetitive offers on financing (i.e. lower rates, etc.).
Credit Score 601-660 Category Fair What to Expect You may qualify for financing, but as a subprime borrower you probably won't get the best deal a lender has to offer.
Credit Score 500-600 Category Poor What to Expect It may be difficult to qualify for financing, depending on the lender. When you do qualify, you should expect to pay more.
Credit Score 300-499 Category Very Poor What to Expect You're unlikely to qualify for financing.

Source [7] What is a good credit score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/score-basics/what-is-a-good-credit-score/; Note: Earlier versions of VantageScore credit scores didn’t feature a 300 to 850 scale. VantageScore 1.0 and 2.0 each had a credit score range of 501 to 990. [9] Why Do I Have So Many Credit Scores With One Credit Bureau? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/why-do-i-have-so-many-credit-scores-with-one-credit-bureau/

Different credit score ranges and how they affect you

When your credit score falls in a lower range, borrowing money can be a challenge. If you are able to qualify for financing at a lower credit score range, bad credit comes at a high cost in terms of the interest rates you’ll pay. 

Moving up into a higher credit score range can make a meaningful difference in your financial life.  Some benefits of good credit include that it could improve your chances of qualifying for the loans or credit cards you want. It may also make it easier to lease a home or apartment. And, of course, a higher credit score range could save you money in the form of lower interest rates and lower insurance premiums.  

Below is a look at the different FICO Score ranges and a deeper look at the impact your credit score range might have when you apply for financing. Although these ranges apply to FICO Scores, they can be a helpful guide when evaluating your VantageScore credit scores as well. 

Exceptional Scores (800-850)

When you earn a FICO Score between 800 and 850, your credit score is well above average. An exceptional FICO Score tells lenders that you are a responsible borrower with an excellent credit management track record. You most likely have a long credit history, no late payments, low credit card utilization, and you don’t apply for new credit in an excessive way.

At this credit score range, qualifying for new loans (e.g., mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, etc.), credit cards, and other financial products should generally be easy from a credit score perspective. But keep in mind that lenders consider more than just your credit score when you apply to borrow money.

There’s a good chance lenders will offer you their best terms and lowest interest rates when you have an exceptional credit score. Your credit-based insurance scores may also be in great shape which has the potential to help you secure lower auto insurance premiums (depending on your state of residence). These benefits could potentially save you thousands of dollars per year, and much more over the course of your lifetime.  

Very Good Scores (740-799)

Your FICO Score is above average if it falls between 740 and 799. This range indicates to lenders that you’re a responsible borrower and a low credit risk. In other words, you are likely to repay the money you borrow as promised. 

With a very good credit score, you should be able to qualify for many types of financing. Lenders may also be willing to extend competitve interest rates and loan terms in an effort to win your business. However, you might not be able to qualify for the lowest rates available depending on a lender’s credit-tiered pricing criteria. 

Good Scores (670-739)

If your FICO Score falls between 670 and 739 you have a credit score that is at or near average. As of 2020, the average FICO Score in the United States was 703.

Most lenders will consider you to have a good credit score in this range. So, you’re still likely to qualify for many types of financing. However, you could pay more to borrow money since lenders may not offer you their best rates and terms available at this credit score range. 

Fair Scores (580-669)

When your FICO Score is between 580 and 669, you have a score that’s lower than the average U.S. consumer. At this credit score range, lenders may classify you as a subprime borrower. 

Some lenders may decline your applications for loans, credit cards, and other forms of financing when you have a fair credit score. If a lender does approve your application, you should expect your interest rate (and potentially fees) to be higher than you could secure with a better credit rating. Over time, higher interest rates could cost you hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars depending on the terms of your loan or credit card. 

Very Poor Scores (300-579)

A FICO Score between 300 and 579 is considerably lower than the average U.S. consumer. With a FICO Score in the very poor range, you’re likely to have a hard time qualifying for many types of traditional financing. And when a lender does approve your application for new credit, you may have to accept the least attractive terms, interest rates, and fees available. You may also need to put down deposits when you open new utility accounts or cellular phone services. 

If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, you may want to consider some credit building financial products. Credit builder loans and secured credit cards, for example, are two types of accounts that could potentially benefit you over time if you manage them responsibly. Additionally, these products tend to have more lenient approval criteria than traditional credit because of the way they work. As a result, you should find them easier to qualify for when you have very poor credit scores. 

No Credit Scores

To qualify for a FICO Score, your credit report must meet certain criteria. Your report must have at least one tradeline (e.g., loan, credit card, etc.) that has been open for at least six months and at least one tradeline that’s been reported to the credit bureau in the last six months. (A single account can satisfy both of these criteria.) There can also be no indication on your credit report that you are deceased. 

If you can’t satisfy the criteria above, you will have no credit score. A study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that some 45 million American consumers have no credit scores either because they don’t have a credit file (26 million consumers) or because the credit files they do have don’t qualify for a credit score. 

With no credit scores, it can be difficult to borrow money—especially at affordable rates and terms. Many lenders may be hesitant to approve your applications for financing since you don’t have a previous credit management track record that they can review. 

Like consumers with subprime credit scores or very low poor credit scores, you may want to consider establishing some good positive credit history to improve your credit score range. Secured credit cards and credit builder loans are two options that may be a good fit in this credit score range since they offer easier-to-satisfy approval criteria than most traditional forms of credit.  

How Much Money You Could Save by Moving to a Higher Credit Score Range

FICO provides a Loan Savings Calculator that shows how your credit score range can impact the price you pay for various loans, such as mortgages and auto loans. Sometimes, moving up even one credit score range can make a meaningful difference in both your monthly and overall cost of borrowing. 

Here is a hypothetical example of the money a higher credit score range might save you on a $300,000 mortgage (30-year, fixed-rate). 

Loan Savings Potential

FICO Score Range Mortgage APR Monthly Payment Total Interest (Over 30 Years)
FICO Score Range 620-639 Mortgage APR 3.932% Monthly Payment $1,421 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $211,384
FICO Score Range 640-659 Mortgage APR 3.386% Monthly Payment $1,328 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $178,122
FICO Score Range 660-679 Mortgage APR 2.956% Monthly Payment $1,258 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $152,773
FICO Score Range 680-699 Mortgage APR 2.742% Monthly Payment $1.223 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $140,443
FICO Score Range 700-759 Mortgage APR 2.565% Monthly Payment $1,196 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $130,389
FICO Score Range 760-850 Mortgage APR 2.343% Monthly Payment $1,161 Total Interest (Over 30 Years) $117,967

Source [12] Loan savings calculator https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/calculators/loan-savings-calculator/

In the most extreme example above, moving from a credit score range of 620-639 up to 760-850 could help you save: 

Remember that every lender decides which credit score it will use to evaluate your credit worthiness. Virtually all mortgage lenders use FICO Scores (as required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). FICO Scores remain popular among other lenders as well, but some might use a VantageScore credit score to evaluate your creditworthiness instead. 

In addition to selecting a preferred credit score, lenders also choose how to interpret the scores they use. So, while the ranges in this article are a good guide, they may not represent the exact credit score range parameters you’ll encounter when you apply for financing. Nonetheless, the following rule of thumb holds true. The higher your credit score climbs, the better your odds of qualifying for an attractive loan or credit card offer. 

Credit reports and score ranges: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian

When you apply for a loan or credit card, a lender may check your credit report and an associated score from one or more of the major credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. But the credit score range doesn’t vary based on the credit bureau from which the lender purchases your report. Rather, the credit score range is determined by the scoring model the lender uses.  

For example:

Credit score differences by credit bureau

It is possible to receive a different credit score from each credit bureau, even if the lender uses the same scoring model to analyze your three reports. Consider how a mortgage application works. When you apply for a home loan, a lender will review all three of your credit reports and scores. The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—require this thorough type of tri-bureau credit check. 

Yet even though the lender may check your Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian credit reports on the same day and use the same scoring model for each, you’ll probably get three different credit scores. Usually, your three scores would fall into the same credit score range, but it is possible for there to be some differences here too.  The reason your credit scores can differ between credit bureaus, even if the same scoring model is used, is because your credit reports from the three credit bureaus aren’t identical. For example, your Equifax report might list an extra account that’s missing from TransUnion and Experian. Or perhaps the credit utilization ratio one of your credit cards is being reported differently on your Experian credit report than it is on the other two.  If the information on your credit reports doesn’t match, you shouldn’t expect your credit scores to match either. 

The number of people in each credit score range

When it comes to credit scores, it can be interesting to see how you measure up to the rest of the population. Knowing how your credit score compares to others may leave you feeling pretty confident, or it might reveal that you have some catching up to do. 

Below is a look at the percentage of people in each of the five credit score ranges. There is a separate chart for FICO Scores and VantageScore credit scores. 

FICO Credit Score Range Distribution

FICO Score Range Percentage of Consumers
FICO Score Range Exceptional (800-850) Percentage of Consumers 21%
FICO Score Range Very Good (740-799) Percentage of Consumers 25%
FICO Score Range Good (670-739) Percentage of Consumers 21%
FICO Score Range Fair (580-669) Percentage of Consumers 17%
FICO Score Range Very Poor (300-579) Percentage of Consumers 16%

VantageScore Credit Score Range Distribution

VantageScore Credit Score Range Percentage of Consumers
VantageScore Credit Score Range Excellent (781-850) Percentage of Consumers 23%
VantageScore Credit Score Range Good (661-780) Percentage of Consumers 38%
VantageScore Credit Score Range Fair (601-660) Percentage of Consumers 13%
VantageScore Credit Score Range Poor (500-600) Percentage of Consumers 21%
VantageScore Credit Score Range Very Poor (300-499) Percentage of Consumers 5%

Here are a few more interesting statistics about U.S. credit score ranges.

Consumers in the same credit score range share common characteristics

If your credit score falls into a certain range, it’s likely that your credit report is similar to others who are in the same credit score range as you. The following charts show some interesting data about consumers that fall into the subprime credit score range (FICO Score of 669 and below), the very good credit score range (FICO Score of 750-799), and the exceptional credit score range (FICO Score of 800-850). 

Subprime Credit Score Range Characteristics(FICO Score of 669 and Below)
Average FICO Score (for Subprime Range) 577
Estimated Income $65,813
Average Number of Credit Cards 2.3
Average Credit Card Balance $5,685
Average Student Loan Balance $34,144
Average Auto Loan Balance $18,429
Average Personal Loan Balance  $9,045
Average Mortgage Balance $157,401
Average Number of Delinquent Accounts 7.5
Average Total Debt $53,263
Very Good Credit Score Range Characteristics(FICO Score of 750-799)
Average FICO Score (for Very Good Range) 775
Average Age 50 Years Old
Average Length of Credit History 104 Months
Average Time Since Last Credit Inquiry 8 Months
Average Time Since Last Account Opened 12 Months
Average Time Since Last Delinquent Payment 38 Months
Percentage of Consumers with Zero Late Payments on Credit Report 72%
Average Number of Revolving Accounts (Credit Cards, Home Equity Lines of Credit, etc.) 8
Average Total Revolving Balance $2,197
Average Overall Credit Utilization Ratio 10%
Exceptional Credit Score Range Characteristics(FICO Score of 750-799)
Average FICO Score (for Exceptional Range) 826
Average Age 61 Years Old
Average Length of Credit History 128 Months
Average Time Since Last Credit Inquiry 9 Months
Average Time Since Last Account Opened 15 Months
Average Time Since Last Delinquent Payment 46 Months
Percentage of Consumers with Zero Late Payments on Credit Report 95%
Average Number of Revolving Accounts (Credit Cards, Home Equity Lines of Credit, etc.) 10
Average Total Revolving Balance $1,446
Average Overall Credit Utilization Ratio 4%

If you’re hoping to move up to the exceptional credit score range, it can be wise to try to emulate the credit management habits of people that are already in that group. Likewise, taking a look at the habits of people with credit scores in the subprime range can give you a clue about which credit behaviors it’s best to avoid. 

Factors that affect your credit score range

There are many factors that can affect your credit score and your credit score range. These factors break down into five categories of information (found on your credit report).

The bottom line

It may not seem like a few points makes much difference when it comes to your credit scores. However, if those few points move you up (or down) to a different credit score range, then the impact that change has on your financial life could potentially be meaningful. 

As you have seen from the examples above, a better credit score range could mean the difference between an approval or a denial of your loan application. Having a credit score in a higher range may also help you get better rates and terms from lenders, making it more affordable to borrow money.

Sources:

You are leaving Self Close
Self Financial, Inc. and the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card make no representation concerning and is not responsible for the quality, content, nature, or reliability of any hyperlinked site and is providing this hyperlink to you only as a convenience. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by Self Financial, Inc and the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card of any information in any hyperlinked site. In no event shall Self Financial, Inc. or the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site.