What is a good credit score?

Your credit score (that sometimes mysterious number that reflects how responsible you are with your credit) plays a very important role in your financial life. Almost every time you apply for a loan, someone (or in some cases, a computer) will be looking for that number that determines if they are willing to expand that credit to you and, if yes, at what rate. That’s the case when you apply for a new credit card, a car loan, or a mortgage.


Fortunately, you know what your credit score is (if not, we’ll help you find out), but how do you know if it’s a good credit score? In this article, we’ve covered what financial expert Clark Howard and others consider to be a good credit score, where you can monitor your credit, and how to improve it, if necessary!

What is a good credit score?

Your FICO credit score, the most used score by lenders, is a three-digit number that can range from 300 to 850. So how do you make up that range when it comes to “good” and “bad”? Here’s how the Experian credit reporting agency sees it.



As you can see, according to this graph, the majority of Americans have “good”, “very good”, or “exceptional” in terms of score. In fact, in 2021, the national average FICO score is 716. But different lenders have different ideas about what makes “good” credit. For that reason, your ability to obtain credit and the rate that is offered to you can vary. This is why some people want a score of 850, something Clark says, “You’re crazy if it obsessed you.” You don’t need something so high.

“If you can get close to 760, you’ll get the same benefits, the same offers, as someone who has an 840 score,” says Berverly Harzog, a credit card expert at US News & World Report. With that said, if your credit score is currently below 600, 760 seems like a long shot, but there’s no reason to be discouraged. There are other numbers that can make a big difference in the offers you get and the rates you can get on loans, says Clark: “There are certain turning points in terms of making things easier for you. One that is really important is to find you around 680. That is the point at which people see you other than when you are below that. ” Now that you have a target for scores if you want to see yourself as a person with a “good” score, how can you monitor your progress on these goals?