The Many Faces of Credit Scores

Your credit score is a way to evaluate your financial standing, which affects your ability to obtain a loan, whether for financing or personal use. So let us dig deeper to understand this concept, which can directly affect your financing capability.

Credit is the First Criteria

Your personal credit history is a key factor in your credit score. How do you obtain this? One way is by having a secure credit card, which you can use for your purchases, such as when shopping and buying personal items. To further understand the difference between a secured card and an unsecured card, the secure card has a direct bank deposit account attached to it which acts as a collateral in case of payment default. The unsecured one has no required collateral. There are also other ways you can build credit, such as finding a co-signer, a credit-builder loan, being authorized for someone else’s card, or from rental credit.

Credit Practice vs. Credit Score

Once you already have a credit card, it is your responsibility to keep track of it. You don’t want to be labelled as an impulsive buyer. This would ruin your chance of achieving a good credit score. The following list is a good reference guide for maintaining a good credit history:

  • Pay your credit bill in full and on time, whether you have a credit card loan or any other type of loan. You should not have a bad reputation of paying beyond the due date, which normally falls to collecting agencies.
  • Keep at least two credit accounts. Too many or too little would result in a lower credit score.
  • 30% is the maximum recommended usage of your total credit limit. Pay the balance first before using it again.
  • Always check the balance on the credit reports you are getting. This way you can raise any discrepancy or error in it. Then, keep the credit account open as long as you can.

Following the above-listed tips would significantly have a direct impact on your credit score. Expect a lower credit score when you max out your limit and have overdue payments. Diligently paying all of it on time and staying at 30% will get you the best results, fast.

The Dreaded Credit Scores

According to FICO (Fair Isaac Corp), Americans have a general average credit score of 695.  The counter credit score company provider Vantage tallies the average score at 671 for the year 2015. This rating was computed based on different groups of people, income, and age. Both FICO and Vantage adopted a range score of 300 to 850. To illustrate the scoring range:

Below are tables of advised credit cards, related APR and other necessary info.

  • Bad Credit: Below 630 (300-629)

Needs to work on credit score due to a higher chance of not being granted a loan. Stick to the 30% rule and pay bills on time.

Type of Card APR Annual Fee Deposit Required
USAA Secured Cards AMEX 10.15 – 20.15% $35 $ 250.00
Milestone MasterCard 23.9% $35-$99 Unsecured
First Access Visa® Card See Terms See Terms Unsecured

 

  • Fair Credit: 630 – 689

Less perks compared to good credit. Work on increasing it, a 50-point increase will get you to into Good Credit.   

Type of Card APR Annual Fee Perks
Barclay card Rewards MasterCard 25.24% None Reward Rate
Capital One Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Credit Card 23.24% $39 1.5% Cash Back
Capital One Platinum Credit Card 24.99% None International Use

 

  • Good Credit: 630-719

Has a lot of perks and rewards, with a higher approval rate for loans.

 

Type of Card APR Annual Fee Perks
Citi Double Cash Card 13.24%-23.24% None 1% + 1% Cash Back
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard 16.24%-23.24% 1st Year, ; after $89 2x Miles Points, No Foreign Charges
Chase Slate 13.24%-23.24% None Free Credit Score Report, No Penalty Fee

 

  • Excellent: 720 and above

Does not necessarily mean outright approval; just a better chance of having better interest deals and par rates.

Type of Card APR Annual Fee Perks
Citi Simplicity Card 13.24%-23.24% None No Late and Penalty Fee
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard 16.24%-23.24% 1st Year, ; after $89 2x Miles Points, No Foreign Charges
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 13.24%-23.24% None for 1st Year; $ 59 after 2x Miles/$1, 40K miles one-time bonus

 

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