What’s Considered a Bad Credit Score?

What’s Considered a Bad Credit Score?
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Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: January 21, 2015
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

No one wants a bad credit score. We all know it affects what we pay for insurance and our ability to borrow money, land a job, or rent a house. Avoiding a bad credit score is just the smart thing to do.

But what exactly is considered a bad credit score? Is there a magic number that is seen as a risk? Actually, there is — but it’s a little complicated.

Anything Below 660, Theoretically Speaking.

Everyone who has ever gotten a loan, charged something on a credit card, or paid a bill has a credit score. The scoring system the major credit rating agencies use is called the FICO system, and it has a range of between 300 and 850 points.

Using this system, a score of 850 is the best you can be assigned.

Depending on the credit rating agency you ask and what region of the country you’re in, the average credit score in the U.S. is between 660 and 700. Theoretically, this means a credit score below 660 is considered a bad credit score.

However, FICO itself considers a score of between 625 and 659 to be a “standard” rating. The score range they reserve for “subprime” is 624 and below.

If your credit score is above 700, you can be pretty sure banks and lenders will see you positively. Below 650 points or so and it’s a gamble.

If you are one of those unfortunate enough to have a score in the subprime category, there are things you can do to improve your credit score.

Lexington Law Credit Repair Can Help

By paying your bills when they’re due, you receive a positive weighting on your credit score. The more you meet your obligations and pay your debts, the better your credit score is likely to be. But if you should fall behind in your payments or default on a loan, your credit score will take a hit. And it doesn’t take too many of these hits to bring your credit score crashing down to earth.

A credit repair service can remove negative items from your credit reports. Lexington Law’s past clients have seen an average of 10.2 negative items removed from their credit reports within four months. It’s definitely worth it if you’ve got some things on your report dragging your score down.

  • Free consultation: 1-855-200-2394
  • Reporting clients see 85% of negative items removed
  • More than 7.5 million item deletions last year
  • No contracts
  • Free credit score provided
  • Phone support from licensed paralegals 7 days a week
  • More than 500,000 clients served since 1991
  • Click here for sign-up form, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Monthly Cost Reputation Score
A- 1991 $79 10/10

Consultations are free and there’s never any obligation. Lexington Law also has a good reputation, sporting 4.5 stars with Consumer Affairs.

A Secured Credit Card is Another Good Option

A secured credit card can actually help boost your score when you use it responsibly. By responsibly, we mean always paying your monthly bills on time, never missing a payment, and keeping your credit utilization ratio low. Here are the top-rated secured cards for folks looking to rebuild their credit as reviewed by our experts:

  • Checking account required
  • Easy online application
  • Unlike some other issuers, good credit is not required
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Reports to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • We may approve those currently building credit history
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a processing fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10
  • Checking account required
  • A manageable credit limit can help you stay in control
  • This is a credit card - not a debit or prepaid card
  • Track your progress. Your FICO Score is provided for free on your monthly billing statement.
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10

A secured credit card works the same as an unsecured card — the only difference is that it requires a deposit to secure your line of credit.

Remember, nothing is permanent. Our credit scores are being recalculated all the time. With a little help, you can quickly improve yours.

Photo source: bobrutledge.com.