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Your credit score – Perhaps the single most important number that dictates your life. So why do we know so little about it? We could all benefit from understanding the basics of this significant score.


760-850 = A+ Credit

  • With this score, you should be able to qualify for nearly any offer on the market. Plus, you’ve earned serious bragging rights.

720-760 = A Credit

  • An A credit score allows a consumer to qualify for 99% of what they want to do or purchase.

680-720 = B Credit

  • This score is the national average. You likely have a few dings on your credit, but you’ll still qualify for many cards or offers.

620-720 = C Credit

  • This is considered poor. You’re looking at needing co-signers and higher interest rates for those cards you DO qualify for.

580-620 = D Credit

  • Guess what? With this score, you are STILL LENDABLE! Cars, credit cards, things of that nature may be tough, but you are still able to purchase a home with a 580. The Federal Government wants Americans to be homeowners.

350-580 = F Credit

  • You’ll need to rely on pre-paid cards while you work on raising this score, as you’re not lendable with this rating.


There are three credit bureaus, and you have a Fico score at each one: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Each one is based on information the credit bureau keeps on file about you. The best and perhaps most user-friendly site to see all three scores and only receive a soft hit on your credit is to go to MYFICO.COM. It is your most “legitimate” score. Ninety five percent of lending decisions are based on your Fico score. is a good site to visit as they will allow you a free report one time a year.


Risk analysis! Credit scoring is designed to see what a consumer’s chances are of going 90 days late in the next 12 months. Ninety days is the benchmark at which it’s rare to catch up. To max out your score, try using the 1-2-3 method. 1 – Mortgage, 2 – Installments (like cars), 3 – Credit Cards (excluding retail cards). This is a sure-fire formula for diversification that Fico likes to see.


  • Five out of six people have errors on their credit report. Errors to look for include: Personal information, account information, public records, and inquiries (a sure sign of identity theft). If you find an error or anything that looks questionable, call all three bureaus and put a freeze on your account or a fraud alert.
  • You CAN get turned down for having too good of credit. This is called “high credit denial” and happens when there’s a bank on the back end of a retail card (say, a Home Depot credit card is backed by Citibank). They know that you’ll pay, causing them to lose money, and therefore denying you.
  • Texas has the lowest average credit score in the country at 687.
  • Bad credit stays on your report for 7-10 years. A consumer hit (such as not paying your car payment) will stay on for 7, whereas a public hit (such as a lawsuit) will stay on for 10 years.

We ALL want to be creditworthy individuals. Check yours out, make sure there are no errors, and know that even if it’s not where you want it to be, you can still buy a home if it’s above 580! Happy house hunting this summer.