What is an Excellent Credit Score Nowadays?


Credit scores, for many, are something of a mystery, and yet with the right score, you can unlock the doors to lower interest rates, better financing options, and access to great credit cards and loans. Knowing if your credit score is great, or only good, can be a tricky game as the rules keep changing.

Just a few years ago, a score of 720 would have been enough to secure the best rates and guarantee you access to whatever credit you desired; however, with the economic downturn lingering, banks and lenders have tightened their standards. Now, to qualify for the best deals lenders have to offer, a score of 750-760 is often required.

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Get Your Free Credit Score

Knowing what score you need, though, is only half the equation—you also need to do the legwork to get the score. Credit Sesame gives you access to a free credit score, with free updates every month so that you can track and monitor your credit score progress. To help you along the way, there are some fundamentals that will earn you a credit score that will land you the best lenders have to offer.

How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score

One of the most important, and seemingly trivial, components is simply to pay your bills on time. On time payments are the most critical factor in a good credit score. Paying late not only hurts your credit score, it can also take you years to repair. Start by getting current and making on time payments. The further late payments are in your history, the less they’ll affect your credit score.

Watch Your Debt Limits

Also, a major component of excellent credit scores is your debt-to-credit ratio, or revolving utilization. Some experts advise keeping your utilization at 50% or less, some say 30%, but the fact is, the lower your revolving utilization, the higher your credit score. In fact, to earn the most possible points in this area of your score, you should aim to keep this number to 10 percent or less. This means you’ll only want to have up to 10 percent of your credit limit used up to earn the highest score. Carrying high balances can signal a problem to lenders, so pay down cards that are near their limit to get them in the right percentage range.

With a few key steps and some due diligence, an excellent credit score—and the interest rates that come with them—can be yours. If you have excellent credit you may want to check out the benefits of these excellent credit credit cards.

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Published May 2, 2012 Updated: August 18, 2015
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