Why the Answer to “What’s a Good Credit Score?” Varies

Blog Post05/20/2015
Credit Advice

“What’s a good score?” It’s a question that’s asked a lot. And since credit scores are actual numbers, the answer should be simple at first glance. But here are some reasons a good answer goes beyond those three digits.

Which scorer?

There are several credit scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore being among the most well-known. Each scoring company develops its own proprietary formulas, ranges and the scores themselves. That means an 800 from one company’s score may mean something completely different than an 800 from another’s.


Which score?

Even if you narrow your question down to one company, like asking “what’s a good VantageScore?” the most accurate answer may still be “it depends.” That’s because the credit score producers develop different scores at different times for different industries. For example, there are credit scores, insurance scores, scores used for mortgage loans, and more.

Who’s looking?

One reason it’s difficult to accurately answer “what’s a good score?” with just a three-digit number is that a “good” score is in the eye of the beholder (in this case, the creditor using it). Different creditors can have widely differing views on what “good” is. They can have different cutoffs for approvals and interest rates.

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What’s your specific situation?

Whether a credit score is “good” also depends on your unique situation. Credit scores are just guides, so when you’re applying for a loan, other things may come into play. For example, creditors may look at your income, specific parts of your credit report and other acceptable factors when evaluating your credit application.

The best answer

A good credit score is one that helps you achieve your goals. If a 770 helps you get the loan you need, it’s a good score. If an 805 gets you the best interest rate the creditor’s offering, that’s also a good score.

A good score is always within reach with consistently good credit habits—on-time payments and having several different kinds of accounts, to name just a few. A good credit score really depends on you because you’re in control of your credit.

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