My Credit Score is Fair — What Can I Get Now?
February 02, 2015 by Lucy Lazarony
Have you worked hard to improve your poor credit, but not sure what you now qualify for with your new “fair credit” status?
As someone with fair credit, your credit score lands you between poor and good credit. While you have not reached good credit score status, you have improved your credit score enough not to be considered among the poorest credit risks.
What Is a Fair Credit Score?
VantageScore 3.0 and many FICO score models use a credit score range of 300 to 850. In each, 300 is the lowest credit score, and 850 is the absolute best.
Depending on the scoring model being used (and there are dozens out there ), if your credit score is in the low- to mid-600s, it is considered fair credit.
Lenders use credit scores to determine the rate to charge you on a loan or credit card, whether to approve you for credit, how much credit to extend you and whether to increase or lower a credit line.
As far as credit score guidelines go, the lower your credit score, the less access you’ll have to credit; or you may qualify, but at a higher interest rate. Once you reach fair credit status, however, you will have more affordable credit options.
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Credit Options for Fair Credit
What can you get with fair credit? A lot, actually. With many mortgages, the minimum credit score required may be 620. And with fair credit, you will qualify for an auto loan as well, so
there’s no need to limit your shopping to a “buy here, pay here” lot.
And there are plenty of credit cards that you may qualify for with a fair credit score, although cards with the absolute lowest annual percentage rates may still be out of reach.
Rewards cards are available with no annual fee and you may even qualify for a credit card with a 0% introductory rate before the higher go-to rate kicks in.
To find credit cards suited to your fair credit score, sign up to see your credit scores for free on Credit.com. You’ll also be directed to credit card offers for which you are more likely to qualify, as well as receive tips and advice for improving your credit score.
So you can get to work turning your fair credit into good, which will open up even more affordable credit options to you.
Improving Fair Credit
Because payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, making steady, on-time payments on a mortgage, auto loan or credit card will help to lift your score over time.
Keeping credit card balances low can also benefit your score. Using 10% or less of a credit line is optimal for credit-building. So keep the purchases low and the payments steady on the credit cards that you use.
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