What Is a Good Credit Score?

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Generally, a credit score can range anywhere between 300 and 850. But sometimes you may see scores as high as 990 — it all depends on the scoring model that’s being used. There are many different scoring models out there (e.g., FICO, VantageScore, TransRisk, etc.), and each model uses a different methodology to calculate your score.

No matter which model you may be looking at, the key thing to remember is that the higher your score, the more financially responsible or “creditworthy” you are in the eyes of lenders. And as a result, you’re more likely to get approved for loans and credit cards with favorable terms, such as lower interest rates, which could potentially save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a mortgage or car loan.

But what exactly is considered a good credit score?

Think of a “good” credit score as a range instead of a number

Rather than thinking about a good credit score as a specific number, it’s more helpful to understand the range of good credit scores. Credit score ranges are what gives context to your actual score — in other words, they put some meaning behind the number.

Let’s look at one of the most common credit scoring system, FICO, as an example. Standard FICO credit scores can go from 300 to 850 and are split into different ranges – from “poor” all the way up to “exceptional.”

  • Poor: Below 580
  • Fair: 580 – 669
  • Good: 670 – 739
  • Very Good: 740 – 799
  • Exceptional: 800+

Generally speaking, a “good” or “very good” FICO score falls between 670 and 799. However, it’s important to remember these ranges are just general guidelines to help lenders determine your creditworthiness. Individual lenders may have their own standards of what is considered a good credit score.

Also, keep in mind that your numerical credit score can mean different things under different scoring models. For example, while a score of 665 on the FICO scale is only considered a “fair” credit score, it is considered to be a “good” credit score under the VantageScore 3.0 model.

That’s why when thinking about a “good” credit score, don’t get too bogged down by a specific number – focus on understanding the ranges for a good score.

Benefits of a good credit score

Having a good credit score may help you get approved for new lines of credit with favorable borrowing terms, including lower interest rates and higher credit limits. A good credit score can also help you qualify for credit cards with rewards like sign-up bonuses, cash back, travel points, low interest rates and 0% APR introductory offers.

Your credit score can make a difference in other areas of your life as well. Say you move into a new apartment and call the local utility company to set up service. Utility companies may check your credit score during registration, then use it to determine whether or not you need to pay a security deposit.

Insurance carriers may also consider your credit score when they are setting the prices for homeowners and auto insurance premiums. Why? Your score can help insurers assess whether you’re likely to experience an incident and file a claim.

How you could get a good credit score

Everyone stands to benefit from improving their credit score. Here are a few potential ways to help boost it.

  • Maintain a good payment history by paying bills on time and in full.
  • Apply for new lines of credit only when you need it; applications can trigger a hard inquiry that could temporarily lower your score.
  • Keep your credit utilization low.
  • Monitor your credit report regularly and check for errors.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this website were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.