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What Is a Good Credit Score?

If you’re trying to build or maintain healthy credit, knowing what’s considered a “good” score can be helpful. A good credit score can help you get approved and lock in better rates for loans and other types of credit.

Higher is generally better, but it’s hard to say specifically what a “good” score is. What’s considered a good score can differ by lender and the type of credit you’re applying for. The score you see in a credit monitoring service or when you buy a credit score along with your credit report may not be the score that the lender is using. There are also different scoring models. That said, read on to learn what a good credit score range is when you check your score with TransUnion, along with tips on how to maintain healthy credit.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit score is within the range of 721 – 780. This is based on the VantageScore 3.0® scoring model. If you get a credit score from TransUnion, it is a VantageScore 3.0 credit score. As your score climbs through and above this range, you can benefit from the increased freedom and flexibility healthy credit brings.

Understanding credit score ranges

Scores in widely used models, including VantageScore 3.0, range from 300 to 850. In addition to “good,” VantageScore 3.0 classifies other ranges as well. A very poor credit score is in the range of 300 – 600, with 601 – 660 considered to be poor. A score of 661 – 720 is fair. And an excellent score is in the range of 781 – 850. Think of these rankings and ranges as guides, not hard-and-fast rules for what good credit is.

Some people want to achieve a score of 850, the highest credit score possible. Having this “perfect” score may feel like a win, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy the benefits of strong credit. You can use credit score ranges to help you track your credit score goals, but they don’t necessarily indicate if you will or won’t be approved for credit.

How to get a good credit score

Practicing healthy credit habits can help you raise your credit score and keep it in a good range. Try to keep your balances as low as possible. Your credit utilization, which is how much of your available credit limit you’re using, is a major factor in credit score calculations. Popular advice is to keep your utilization rate below 30%. But the lower the better — it’s smart to leave some breathing room should an unexpected expense come up.

Because your payment history is another important credit score factor, you’re likely to achieve and maintain a good credit score by not missing payments. Automate payments when you can because with multiple services, subscriptions and accounts, it can be easy to let one accidentally slip.

Aim to only apply for credit when needed. Of course, there’s no need to avoid credit altogether. For many people, life’s major purchases may require loans or other credit, and a good credit score lays the groundwork for your credit goals. But because new credit may result in hard inquiries on your report, it’s smart to limit credit applications.

Some people like to take advantage of rewards credit cards that are geared toward those with good credit scores. Just make sure you’re mindful in your approach, so you’re not overspending for the sake of some cash back or travel points.

Your credit score can fluctuate

You may see some short-term movement in your credit score. This happens as information is added or falls off your report, which can happen frequently. Our latest Consumer Pulse Study revealed one-third of consumers monitor their credit at least weekly.

It’s encouraging to see people take an active approach to managing their credit health. But when it comes to your credit score, there’s no need to obsess over minor, day-to-day changes. Nor is it necessary to achieve a “perfect” score. Trying to stay within a certain credit range is a smart, less stressful way to monitor your score.

Also, your credit score may not be the only thing a lender looks at when making a lending decision. For example, if you apply for a mortgage, lenders may also verify your income, personal assets and employment history. Because lenders look at multiple factors, it’s important to strive for overall financial wellness in addition to any credit score goal you may have. Building an emergency savings account and creating a plan to pay down debt, if you have any, will help you be more financially secure and can reflect positively in your credit health.

Regularly read your report

Since your credit score is based off of the information in your credit report, take time to review your report regularly. You want to be sure everything is an accurate reflection of your financial story. As you become more comfortable reading and understanding the data in your report, the easier it is to identify which information is potentially causing changes in your credit score.

Now that you know what’s a good credit score, take the next step. To better understand your credit report, check out our interactive credit report guide that breaks down each section and explains how the information may impact your credit score.

Disclaimer: The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. For complete details of any product mentioned, visit transunion.com. This site is governed by the TransUnion Interactive privacy policy located here.

What You Need to Know:

The credit scores provided are based on the VantageScore® 3.0 model.  Lenders use a variety of credit scores and are likely to use a credit score different from VantageScore® 3.0 to assess your creditworthiness.

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