What is a Good Credit Score?

With 56% of Americans having poor or bad credit, good credit can be hard to come by… But what is a good credit score exactly? Different lenders may have different definitions of what a “good” credit score is. One lender may approve clients with a 640 credit score or higher while another might approve clients at 720. The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to get approved and the better your rate will be.

Score Range

FICO score is the most commonly used credit scoring model. FICO scores ranges from 300-850 and can differ depending on what credit application you’re pulling for. If you are applying for a mortgage your score will be different than applying for a new car, and both of those scores will be different than a score applying for a credit card, and so on. Here is the considered scoring range for FICO scores:

FICO Scoring Model:

Credit score

  • Excellent Credit: 781-850
  • Good Credit: 661-780
  • Fair Credit: 601-60
  • Poor Credit: 501-600
  • Bad Credit: Below 500

Why it’s Important to Have a Good Credit Score

While you may be able to get approved from some lenders with a 640, you’ll be missing out on premium rates which can mean you’ll be paying more money in the long run. Someone with a 780 may wind up paying close to $100,000 less on a mortgage compared to someone in the mid 600s. Good credit will also allow you to get better credit cards with lower interest rates as well. It’s no joke, people with bad credit will always wind up paying more. Read our blog on how bad credit will control your life for a better understanding of this.

What is your Credit Score?

Don’t just assume you have good credit. If you plan on applying for a loan in the not too distant future, you may want to figure out where your scores are at right now. Find out your scores and make sure there are no errors reporting on them. Fill out the form below and Better Qualified will give you a free credit consultation with a credit analyst.


What Makes Up Your Credit Score?

Why do we have credit scores? What makes up your credit score? Did you know 56% of Americans have bad credit?

Credit scores were implemented to determine the creditworthiness of a borrower. The higher the credit score, the more likely the consumer will pay his or her bills on time. While the most important piece of your credit score can be paying on time, there are several other factors that play a role in determining your score as well.

Payment History 35%

When it comes to determining your credit score, the biggest piece of the puzzle is your payment history. What this means is you have to stay current on your accounts and pay on time. If your forgetting to make payments, set reminders for yourself or enroll in autopay. Just 1 missed payment can drop your credit score 100 points or more and take a long time to recover.

If you’re having trouble making payments, consider contacting the lender or switching to 0% balance transfer cards. 0% balance transfer cards will transfer your balance and allow you to make payments with no interest for a set period of time. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can pay off accounts when interest isn’t accruing.

Amounts Owed 30%

Don’t max out! Maxing out your credit cards is not good for a number of reasons. Maxed out cards with ensure that you are paying the maximum amount of interest possible. When you get to this point, climbing out of debt can feel like climbing Mt Everest. Making minimum payments will only pay off the interest, leaving you in limbo. It’s also noteworthy to say that consumers with maxed out cards have an average credit score of 563.

On the flipside, not using your credit cards will also hurt your credit score. You want to use them, but not overuse them. Pay your accounts down to 20% of the credit limit or lower. Doing so will give you a quick boost in score. Always try to remain below 20% of your limit. Once you pass the 20% threshold your score will start to decline.

Another method to raise your credit score would be to ask the creditor for an increase in your credit line. Increasing your credit line will see the utilization ratio drop, bringing your closer to 20% or lower and increasing your credit score.

Length of Credit History 15%

I see it all the time, clients call in wondering why their credit score had dropped. They just got a new credit card and closed their old one. Not a good idea. Old credit cards are not like old appliances. The older your card, the more impact it has on your score. Closing old accounts will almost always bring your score down.

If your old card has outrageous annual fees or super high interest rates, then you may want to think about closing them up. Before you do, call your credit card company and ask if they can waive the fee or reduce your interest rate. If they refuse to budge, then you may want to make the moves to close your account.

Variety of Credit 10%

Consumers with the highest credit scores have them because they have a variety of credit. There are 2 types of credit: Installment loans set at a fixed rate which are your mortgages, auto loans and student loans to name a few, and revolving credit which are your credit cards.

It’s always a good idea to have a few different accounts open on your credit report, including a few different credit cards. Doing so will spread out your utilization and make it easier to maintain a good score.

New Credit 10%

New credit can happen any time you apply for a new loan or account. When your credit score is pulled an inquiry is created. Inquiries will shave off a few points from your score and affect your credit for about 1 year (although they can report for 2 years.) Inquiries have strength in numbers and can really bring your score down if you’re constantly pulling your credit throughout the year. So make sure to keep a watchful eye on your inquiries.

If you are struggling with bad credit and would like a free consultation with an expect, please fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to point your credit in the right direction (up!)

Fill out the form for a free credit consultation


Avoid These Summer Scams

Summer is back in full swing and that means plenty of BBQs, concerts, and vacations. With summer also comes a variety of scammers looking for their next victim. Don’t worry, Better Qualified has put together this list so you can take the right precautions to avoid being sucked into these summer scams.

Avoid Summer Scams(1)

Vacation Scams

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The weather is heating up and so is the desire to get away. Majority of vacationers plan their trips for the summer, when the weather is fine and the kids are out of school. Hot spot vacas like Disney or cruise lines seem to be among some of the more popular locations. However, with the masses of people lining up to get away summer also brings the height of vacation fraud. Make sure you look out for these red flags:

What to Lookout For

Vacations aren’t cheap, especially in the summer months when everyone else is looking to escape. So when you see one of those “Too good to be true!” offers, most of the time it probably is. Vacation scammers use fake websites, Facebook ads, and even phishing emails to reel in their victims. Do your research and stick to well-known, reliable sources before committing to your trip.

Concert Scams

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Nothing says summer like an outdoor concert or festival. The warm summer nights, the rocking music, the smell of…. well, you get the idea. Summer is indeed the season of music. Seasonal venues are open, the majority of annual festivals take place, and swarms of consumers gather to watch their favorite artists perform. Scammers jump at this opportunity to sell fake or stolen tickets to consumers.

Concert fraud is nothing new, just a few months ago hundreds of people lost their chance to see comedian Kevin Hart. 130 tickets were stolen and then resold as part of a massive ticket scam.

What to Lookout For

When looking to attend a show, always make sure you’re getting your tickets from a reliable source. Go through first party sources like livenation.com, ticketmaster.com, or the box office of your local venue. Always make sure you read the fine print and check your total amount before confirming your purchase. Never buy tickets from craigslist or scalpers as this is where most fraudulent tickets are sold!

Moving Scams

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It’s no secret, summer is the best time to move. Warm weather, peak home buying season, and summer vacation make moving more desireable in the summer months. In fact, 11 to 13 percent of moves take place during summer months as opposed to 8 percent or less during all other months of the year. Much like vaca and concert scams, moving scams are also at their peak during the summer. Summer moving scams can come in two forms: moving companies and false listings. Moving companies may offer to move your belongings for a cheap price, then hold your stuff hostage until you pay more money. Cragslist becomes flooded with fake listings asking consumers such as yourself to wire money in return for the house key.

What to Lookout For

As stated previously, do your research and look for reliable moving & real estate companies. When the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. Check the moving company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau or with review sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook. Never go through Craigslist when looking to move. Craigslist is swarming with scammers out for your money. Always go through a real estate company to ensure you don’t get swindled.

Job Scams

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I believe it was Alice Cooper who said “School’s Out for Summer.” With the hordes of teens and young adults returning home from college, employers will start to hire for seasonal summer jobs. Scammers will use employment fraud as a way to steal an applicant’s identity.

What to Lookout For

Any jobs that make you pay fees for training, require background checks, or claim “no experience needed!” should be handled with caution. Never accept a summer job over the phone without actually visiting the place of employment. As always do your research and ask questions as needed. If something seems fishy, trust your gut.

More Tips

Scammers will never stop and with today’s technology are often hard to bring to justice. Following these general tips will ensure your aren’t the next victim of summer scams:

-Research your findings, only go with reliable sources

-Never give out personal information, especially over the phone

-Be Wary of fake emails and social media ads

-Never Wire Transfer Money

ID Theft Victim

If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to a scam, your identity may be in jeopardy. If that’s the case, follow these 6 Steps to Handling Identity theft. Make sure you know what’s on your credit report. If you need help going over your report. fill out the form below for a free credit consultation.