The precise formulas for credit scoring are closely held, but scores are not. Many credit cards and personal finance websites offer free scores.
Your score can fluctuate day-to-day, but it likely stays in about the same range. Here’s how VantageScore breaks it down:
- 781 to 850 Excellent
- 661 to 780 Good
- 601 to 660 Fair
- 500 to 600 Poor
- 300 to 499 Very Poor
For example, according to Experian, people with scores that are 740 or higher typically get the lowest interest rates lenders offer, and they qualify for premium credit cards. A score lower than 740, according to Experian, may or may not keep you from getting approved, but you could pay more in interest.
It’s important to note, however, that scores and ranges can vary by lender. Each lender can set its own standards, and many businesses have their own proprietary formulas that they combine with credit scores.
There are many factors that can affect your credit score, such as your credit utilization rate, how frequently you apply for credit, and paying your bill on time. Being reported at least 30 days late on payments can cause a good score to plummet — if that happens, it could take time to recover.