Credit Score Ranges

Understanding Different Credit Rating Scales

Credit score ranges vary by the scoring company a lender utilizes. Each company applies different percentages to elements of your financial history and uses different computations to determine your credit score. Yet, with all reporting sources, the higher your credit number, the more likely you are to qualify for a loan at a reasonable interest rate.

Following is an overview of the score-reporting organizations, along with their credit score ranges. Financial institutions utilize these resources to attain your credit score and determine your creditworthiness – your probability of repaying a loan with regular, on-time payments.

FICO Credit Ratings (

The Fair Issac Corporation's "FICO" credit score rating system is the most widely used among lenders today. When people talk about their credit scores, it is likely they are referring to their FICO credit score.

FICO credit scores are calculated based on an algorithm comprised of your payment history, outstanding debt, credit history, type of debt you've had, and inquiries made for additional lines of credit.

Scores range from 300 to 850. Those above 720 are considered very good, while scores over 800 are considered excellent and virtually guarantee the best rates.

Scores below 620 are considered risky by lenders. This mean you may not get the loan you want and, if you do, you will be paying a higher-than-average interest rate for borrowed money.

More on FICO Credit Score Ranges >>

VantageScore Credit Ratings (

To compete with FICO and get into the credit score market, the three major credit bureaus – Experian, EquiFax and TransUnion – worked together to develop another credit score rating scale called the VantageScore.

Launched in 2006, VantageScore is touted to lenders as a more standardized, consistent scoring method that also offers additional features for financial institutions.

Scores take into account 24 months of history and includes payment history, amount of credit used, current debt, available credit, balances, and recency of credit.

As with the FICO system, the higher the number, the better the score. In addition, VantageScore also grades the credit score ranges from A to F, with A being the highest and F the lowest.

  • Scores between 900 and 990, are given an "A" and are considered Super Prime for lending purposes,
  • Scores between 801 and 899 are given a "B" or Prime Plus, also representing strong creditworthiness.
  • Scores between 701 and 800 are a grade "C"' and referred to as Prime or average.
  • Scores between 601 and 700 receive a "D" and are Non-Prime. People with scores falling into this range are considered risky.
  • Scores less than 600 are get an "F" and are considered as extremely high risk by lenders.
Custom Scores

Many of the major lenders have their own scoring system, based on internal data, for determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness. They use the same predictive type of categories as FICO and others and apply their own calculations to determine scores and ranges.

Large lenders may rely exclusively on their internal scores or use their information in conjunction with credit scores from FICO or others.

While custom scores or internal credit score ranges are usually not disclosed, financial institutions are required to provide applicants who do not qualify for a loan with the reasons why they were declined.

Ordering Your Credit Score

You can order your credit score from the major credit reporting bureaus for a nominal charge.

  • Equifax, 1-800-685-1111,
  • Experian, 1-866-200-6020,
  • TransUnion, 1-800-888-4213,

Some financial institutions and credit card companies provide customers with their credit score free of charge either monthly or on request. And, websites such as and provide free scores to individuals for signing up for information or paid services. 

For more information, click here: Credit Reports and Scores. In addition, you will find more helpful articles below.

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