While a credit score of 700 will not allow you to fill your wallet with high yielding credit cards named after precious metals and gems, you are well on your way to that goal if you continue to grow. good credit habits. You haven’t hit the credit peak, but you can see the peak.
FICO credit scores, the industry standard for assessing credit risk, range from 300 to 850 perfect – with 670 to 739 labeled “good”, 740-799 “very good” and 800 to 850 “exceptional.” A score of 700 puts you right in the middle of the right range, but still slightly below the average credit score of 711.
“A score of 700 isn’t bad,” said Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education and outreach at Experian. “It’s a little below average, considered premium or low premium. You probably won’t get the best interest rates available. You probably wouldn’t see the premium cards, or the diamonds, or the gold. “
What Can You Do With A Credit Score Of 700?
Instead of just focusing on whether or not a score of 700 is good, ask yourself if it will get you there, said Victoria Sechrist, certified financial trainer at Financial Gym.
“For example, some mortgage refinance lenders require a minimum of 700,” Sechrist said. “Some credit card issuers say they want people 720 and over to get their first tier cards. This doesn’t mean you can’t get approved for credit cards or mortgage refinancing; it just means you may have to shop around more to find a lender with lower credit requirements. If you are looking for a personal loan or 0% balance transfer credit card to refinance higher interest debt, 700 should be enough for you to qualify. “
In the 700 club, your credit limit will likely be close to the average credit limit of $ 4,200, said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate. This limit may vary depending on income and other debts.
With an average credit score, expect to pay around the average credit card interest rate of 16%, Rossman said. This is better that the 20% or 25% of those with lower scores will pay, but not as well as the 7% or 10% of people with scores of 740 and above might achieve.
What credit cards can you get with a credit score of 700?
While prestige credit cards with rewards of up to 6% are probably still out of reach, a score of 700 will put you in a better rewards bracket than those with a score of 600 that only qualify for credit cards. credit cards with minimal rewards, Rossman said.
“Today, a credit score of 700 has you in the ballpark,” Rossman said. “But other factors are going to tip the scales as to whether you are approved or not.”
Lenders will carefully examine your income, debt ratio, late payments, and recent debts.
“Someone who’s opened a bunch of credit cards is going to look risky,” Rossman said, as does “someone who’s racked up a bunch of debt.”
Rossman said a consumer would likely qualify for a card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card, with 1.5% cash back and no annual fee, and the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1%. cash back when you spend and 1%. back when you pay for your purchases.
Overall, Citibank and Bank of America tend to be a bit more lenient in issuing premium cards, Rossman said, compared to American Express, Chase and Discover.
Factors in your favor include your relationship with the issuing bank – whether you have a checking account or a mortgage with that bank, for example.
Even if your credit rating is very good or excellent, issuers may turn you down if they see that you are adding a lot of new cards. For example, some credit card issuers such as Chase may deny you if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past two years.
2 quick ways to increase your credit score
1. Add rent and utility payments to your credit report
The good news is that there are legitimate, free, and inexpensive ways to improve your credit score – no magic trick is required.
Experian offers a free service, Experian Boost, which allows consumers to add payments to their credit history that are not traditionally reported to credit reporting agencies, including cell phone bills, utilities, and credit reports. streaming services.
“They give us permission to access their checking, savings or credit card accounts for these payments and we add those payments to their credit reports,” Experian’s Griffin said. “It’s one of the most empowering things we’ve seen for people – it puts the choice in their hands.”
People with scores below 680 increase their credit scores by an average of 19 points, Griffin said. (That just puts them within range of our 700 club.) In general, consumers are seeing an average increase of 13 points, he said.
Experian’s data showed that adding these payments didn’t skew credit scores inaccurately, but rather helped lenders identify new customers who actually have good credit risk, Griffin said.
Similar programs include
- eCredable Lift, which reports your phone and utility payments to the TransUnion credit bureau for $ 25 per year
- Experian RentBureau, which allows consumers to add on-time rent payments to their credit history
- A free app called Perch, which reports payments for streaming services and rent
2. Reduce your credit utilization rate
Lowering your credit usage rate will increase your score. This means paying off your credit card balances so that they represent a small percentage of your overall available credit.
“Just because a lender says you can borrow a certain amount doesn’t mean you should,” Sechrist said. “You need to keep your utilization rates below 35%. For example, if your monthly credit card limit is $ 10,000, you want your balance to be less than $ 3,500 at all times. “
Another way to lower your credit usage rate, even if you pay off your entire balance each month, is to make your payment early or make an additional payment mid-month, Rossman said.
“Even if you pay your bills in full, you might still have a high credit ratio,” Rossman said. “Your balance is reported on the statement date, so reduce your balance before posting the statement.”
While it can be tempting to close credit cards you aren’t using, think twice, especially if there is no annual fee, Sechrist said. These cards can help you keep your credit usage rate low and, if you’ve had them for a long time, help you maintain a long credit history.
700 no longer above average, even during the pandemic
In 2005, a score of 700 would have marked you as above average, which was 688, according to the FICO Blog. Since then, average credit scores have increased, but generally only a few points per year. From 2019 to 2020, that average score jumped by eight points. The COVID-19 pandemic has made consumers and lenders more cautious.
“Scores actually improved throughout the pandemic,” Griffin said. “Payments have remained stable. We have seen a decrease in utilization rates and a decrease in delinquencies. We see that things continue to be positive. “
Banks tightened standards in all three categories of consumer loans – credit card loans, auto loans and other consumer loans – during the first quarter of 2020, online, according to a April 2020 Federal Reserve report.
“At the time of the pandemic, things changed, but the worst fears did not come true,” Rossman said. “A year ago I would have said if you were 670 or older you could be approved by most credit cards. Now it’s more like 720 or higher. A year ago, fears skyrocketed, but the worst fears have not come true. “
The bottom line
Whether your goal is to achieve a credit score of 700 or you are aiming even higher, keep practicing and building good credit habits. With average credit scores on the rise, this is a time when you really want to keep pace with the Joneses.