Your credit score may range between 300 – 850 currently. This is broken down individually by each creditor with their own definition but generally you may expect your credit score to be viewed on a scale very similar to this:
- Exceptional: 800 and above
- Very Good: 740 – 799
- Good: 670 – 739
- Fair: 580 – 669
- Poor: 579 and lower
There are three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion that collect your data and compile it all into your credit report. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major bureaus yearly through AnnualCreditReport.com, the only federally authorized site to provide free credit reports. Additionally, most larger credit card companies offer their own version of personalized credit tracking.
What can your credit score do for you? Well, think of your credit score as your grades in school. Better grades will allow for you to be accepted into better schools, you may receive a higher level of care and consideration, possibly favorable placement, etc. Your credit score allows lenders, landlords, banks, etc. to be able to make a more thorough decision based on YOU, your payment history, use of credit, length of credit history, new credit acquired and any monies you may owe.
Take a good look at this example below, take note of the range used, mortgage rates, auto loan interest paid and something most of us do not think about such as higher insurance premiums for the same coverage!
Now that I have your wheels turning, take a moment to obtain your credit report, sit down and analyze your current position and plan accordingly to maximize the benefits of having excellent credit.
Some good practice tips for you:
- Take the time to understand your credit score / report
- Pay your bills on time
- Maintain a moderate outstanding debt (keep your outstanding balances as low as possible)
- Maintain your established accounts, avoid opening new ones
- Keep your information secure to avoid credit fraud
- Create and maintain a budget to live within your means