Credit scores, also known as FICO scores, have a tremendous effect on a person's financial life. They affect your ability to purchase a car or a home, apply for credit cards, get a job and even rent an apartment. FICO scores demonstrate a person's level of creditworthiness and, therefore, trustworthiness.
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FICO is an acronym that is derived from Fair Isaac Corporation, which is the company that developed the system of credit scoring that the current FICO system is based upon.
Poor Credit Score
A score in the low 600s is associated with poor credit. A person with a score below about 620 is considered a high risk and is likely to have trouble getting any type of loan. In addition, interest rates for individuals with poor credit are much higher, increasing as the score lowers.
Acceptable Credit Score
Scores from the low 600s up to the high 600s are considered to have acceptable credit. These individuals will not have the benefits of the best credit, but they will not have as much trouble getting loans and will not have the worst interest rates.
Good Credit Score
Individuals who have credit scores that are in the 700 range and above are considered to be good credit risks.
High Credit Score
Credit scores above 750 are considered to be excellent credit scores. The individuals who have credit scores above 750 typically have low debt/income ratios, and no late payments on their credit reports. They enjoy premium interest rates and have no trouble getting loans.
Credit scores affect the ability of a consumer to get more credit, as well as her ability to pay off her current debt. As a credit score drops, interest rates go up and debt increases, which in turn lowers the credit score. Making payments on time and keeping debt-to-income ratios low is an excellent way to achieve a high credit score.