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The FICO site also says that 19.9 percent of Americans have a score over 800 and 34.8 percent have a score between 700 and 799. All in all, 54.7 percent of Americans fall into the “Good” or “Excellent” categories, while 21.9 percent are under 600 in the “Bad” category.
If the applicant is declined for credit, the lender is not obliged to reveal the exact reason why. However industry associations including the Finance and Leasing Association oblige their members to provide a satisfactory reason. Credit-bureau data sharing agreements also require that an applicant declined based on credit-bureau data is told that this is the reason and the address of the credit bureau must be provided.
Sounds like a good idea but doesn’t work so well. My score is 742 because of lack of credit! I had the income, etc. but thought paying for everything was the smartest thing I could do. Boy was I wrong. I had amex and a couple of cap one cards. Amex is 36 yrs old. Well, I seen how all of the big credit companies wanted people with many credit cards, diverse credit, and high CL’s. So I went out and got a several good cc’s with high limits. Charged them carefully for Christmas and will pay them off in January. The 36 yr history combined with the new cc’s brought my overall cc history down to just under 4 yrs! But I now have a great mix of credit (all but a student loan), many cc’s with high limits (using responsibly), and feel like all I need to to is rotate my cards and pay in full and hope to see a score as close to 850 as I can get. I will try try to always keep a mtg payment, car payment, etc. It seems they want to see us in debt & managing it well. And yes, it appears income does play a role in this as well. But I have seen some students with 18K incomes and very high CL’s & ficos.
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I disagree. I do live in the Bay Area and have a credit score in the 800’s. I pay my student loans on time and any extra money I have I throw at them to cut the principal down as fast as possible. I don’t use my credit card unless I half to. I also pay my bills on time.
Another common question is whether checking your own credit report or score can hurt it. The answer is no. Checking your own credit scores doesn’t lower them. Checking your own credit report creates a special kind of inquiry (known commonly as a soft inquiry) that isn’t considered in credit score calculations. Without the risk of harming your scores by checking your credit report and scores frequently, don’t steer away from viewing them as often as you need to.
Maximize Your Available Credit: Credit cards are the best credit-building tool available because most people can get approved for one. They all report information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis, and they don’t have to cost you a thing. As long as you pay your bills on time and avoid spending more than you can afford, your credit reports will fill with positive information, and your credit score will improve. And you can help things along by keeping your credit utilization below 30% – or even below 10% if you’re really aiming for perfection.You should also consider becoming an authorized user on a family member’s credit card account. Assuming your relative has good credit or better, his or her standing will effectively rub off on you and accelerate your credit-score gains.
If you’re at 600 and struggling not to drop further, your situation is different. Maybe you’ve had a series of late payments or have debts in collections. These are signs that your financial situation is unstable.
No need to obsess about hitting that 850 mark. But if you want to try and reach it: Pay all your bills on time, eliminate nearly all of your debt (excluding a mortgage) and use, on average, no more than 7% of your available credit from all your accounts.
If you want a credit card, consider an alternative: “Consumers with poor credit scores — less than 630 — are generally best off with a secured credit card,” says NerdWallet credit card expert Sean McQuay. These cards require you to make an upfront deposit that serves as collateral in case you don’t pay, and they generally have an annual fee. A retail card is another possibility; some discount stores, in particular, might have lower credit score requirements than banks do.
Never borrow what you can pay back with a unemployment check. And if it’s not a emergency. Save for it. Don’t charge. You might not get your flat panel TV today but when you do it will actually cost you less so you can buy a bigger one. The banks broke your country by manipulating you into to having it now. So let’s break the banks by putting your cash in your pocket instead of thier pockets.
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Credit scores are not included with credit reports. Additionally, credit scores are not stored as part of your credit history. Your credit score is calculated only when your credit score is requested. Your credit score can change over time, based on your credit history—including late payments, amount of available debt, and more.
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Gerri, since the statement had a $0 balance, there was nothing reported for the payment. It wasn’t reported late, they simply reported nothing since there was no balance on the statement to be paid. I thought it odd, then just waited until the statement came out and paid it, sure enough they reported on time payment. I am using several different sites to follow my score, each showing different variations, but all have been rising in the 10 months since I started tracking them, I started below around and below 650 on all, and have seen changes to 677 here and a transunion score that isn’t showing my older late stuff that will be removed in 2017 is currently showing a 751 score. That shows just how varied scores can be from one reporting agency to the next.
Don’t worry if you live in a state with lower credit averages, or if you’re in a high credit state but still have a low score. You can boost your own score by taking a number of basic, strategic steps.
Every time you set a major financial goal, like becoming a homeowner or getting a new car, your credit is likely to be a part of that financing picture. Your credit scores will help lenders determine whether or not you qualify for a loan and how good the terms of the loan will be.
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1. Pay on time. Payment history is the top factor in most credit scoring models, says Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at Credit.com. So payments that are 30 days or more late can quickly drag down your credit score. And one late payment is enough to hurt your score, she says. According to myFICO.com, 96% of consumers with a credit score of 800 pay credit accounts on time; 68% of those with a score of 650 have accounts past due.
I looked at my credit score this week and saw that it is at 681; which is up from the 674 it was at last month. I’m assuming it went up because the credit cards are going down. However, I don’t have any installment loans and I’m nowhere near needing to buy a new car. Any advice on how to bring it back up over 700 again? Thanks!
Its not always true that folks with lower credit scores are not financially responsible, it could be due to unforseen circumstances or situations in life that are beyond their immediate control. Some people feel just because they were born on third base that they scored a triple, if your from a family that bore the financial burden in order to make it easy for you, it may be unfair to critisize others who were born on the opposite side of the tracks. This is by no means an excuse nor should serve as a means to dodge your financial obligations, on the contrary it should motivate you to turn tragedy to triumph. Let’s be a little more empathetic because everyones circumstance is totally unique and markedly different. There is only so much you can scrape and scratch and save with a low income but HUGH financial responsibilities.
It sounds like you are taking the right steps. As the information gets older is does have less impact. Have you obtained your free credit score from Credit.com? If so I’ll be happy to try to help you understand it.
Most negative notations on your credit report will cease appearing in your credit history after seven years (although some may take longer). With hard work and determination, you can watch your credit score rise.
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Honestly i think people who give themselves too much credit should stop and think before gloating or even giving advice. Most of us out there know how to manage money but not everyone has the same advantages as the person next to you. Imagine being poor bringing home $800.00 a month because you have no education and you can’t afford to not work while putting yourself through school. $800.00 doesn’t pay the average rent, utilities, a vehicle to get to work and all the other extra expenses the government chooses to throw on individuals. I understand some of the people on here claim it is helpful advice but poor people are not less intelligent than the rich. Most of us already know how to save but not every situation makes it possible. Should poor people not want to try to have what others do when most of the people with money laugh at them calling them names and ridiculing them? Let us be honest in the world we live in. I know a few people who wished they did not grow up in the families they did because there wasn’t any support at all. Then rich people say well thats why we have support programs, grants and student loan programs to aide them, well this is where the rich need some lessons because 1. Grants require certain guidelines to get approved which usually mostly fathers and mothers only get but a single individual usually gets turned down. 2. Student Loans also have requirements and if the person chose the wrong career path then they might as well not have gone in the first place since their debt to income ratio almost equals the poor. 3. Its awesome that some programs can assist people but for someone extremely dirt poor there are just not enough programs to help them. Let us also mention the fact that we tend to frown anytime someone supposedly “freeloads” which sets the mood to deter people from using the assistance. So this $800.00 income leaves this individual not only starving but eventually homeless. Good for you rich people on here that act as if it is the poor person’s fault to why they couldn’t save.
If you notice that your credit score is well below the American average of 695, or you’re constantly facing roadblocks to your financial goals because of your credit, it might be time to get help from a professional.
Consider your credit score a “Debt Score”. Your score really reflects your ability to STAY IN DEBT, and of course, pay bills on time. When the data breach at Target happened, I checked my balances often and was actually downgraded 20 to 30 points on my fico score for accessing my bank balance too many times. How silly is that. Credit scores are a joke. Work hard, save hard and pay with cash. Over a lifetime, the average joe would save $1000’s if not $10’s of thousands in interest charges.
If you’re wondering what the average credit score is, you’re probably really wondering how your credit score compares to others. You may also be wondering if it’s good enough to get approved for a loan or a credit account. While the average credit score sounds like a simple enough figure to pin down, it’s a little more complicated than you may realize.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but a 2015 study showed that 25% of Americans don’t consistently pay their bills on time. Why is that an issue? Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, so every time you become delinquent on a payment, you’re lowering your credit score.
With regard to the first part of your question, this story may help: Credit Deja Vu: When Negative Information Keeps Showing Up on Your Credit Report and with the second one this may help: Four Medical Bill Myths That Can Cost You Dearly
FICO scores (the best known and the ones lenders generally use) run from 300 to 850. Anything above 720 is an A. About half the population has A-minus or better credit. Historically, about 10 percent of the population has an 800 or better. Nearly 25 percent of consumers have a rating of C or below.
The score is calculated with information available at that time. Since your information fluctuates each month (balances, age of accounts etc.) your score fluctuates. It sounds like you have an excellent score and those small differences won’t mean anything when it comes to getting the best rates. So I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

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