FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850 and take into account certain factors like your payment history, the amount of debt you have, the length of your credit history, new credit you have applied for, and the types of credit you use. Basically, the higher the score, the lower risk a borrower has of defaulting on (not paying) a loan.
Excellent credit is defined as a credit score of 720 and above. This score tells a lender or creditor that you likely pay your bills on time, have low debts, and that you are financially responsible and dependable.
In addition to your actual credit score, there are other factors that lenders may use to judge if your credit rating is excellent or not. Some of these include:
- You have never declared bankruptcy
- You have never defaulted on a loan
- You have not been more than 60 days late paying on a credit card, loan, or medical bill in the past year
- Within the last three years, you have had a credit limit of $5,000 or more on a credit card or through a loan.
In general, people with excellent credit have an easier time qualifying for loans and credit cards. They also tend to receive lower interest rates on loans. In the long run, having excellent credit can save you money on loans like mortgages, personal loans, and car loans.
Those with excellent credit usually have a number good credit options available to them. Traditional bank loans are one good option for those with excellent credit. Also, some credit card companies target individuals with excellent credit by offering sign up bonuses and rewards programs. Unsecured personal loans could be a good option as well if they come with favorable rates and terms.
Sample Interest Rates
For those with excellent credit scores, interest rates from the lenders and lending partners that LoanStart works with start at 4.84 percent. In contrast, those with good credit score, fair credit score, or bad credit score could receive an APR as high as 35.99 percent. The APR you receive from a partner lender depends on how they calculate APR, the terms of your loan, fees associated with the loan, and renewal options.
If you have excellent credit, you generally have better options for borrowing money and receiving credit. Because your options are often better, there are some loan products that you may want to avoid. High-interest, short-term loans might be needlessly expensive for someone with excellent credit. These types of loans include payday loans and short-term installment loans.
Maintaining an Excellent Credit Score
Keeping your credit score high doesn’t require financial perfection. The best way to maintain a credit score of 720 or higher is to continue your current, healthy financial habits. Paying bills on time and keeping your debt low are two of the easiest ways to maintain your credit score. To help you maintain your high score, be sure not to use more than 30% of your available credit at a time. If you have a credit card (or cards), pay off your balance (or balances) monthly. If you need to carry a balance, try to keep it as low as possible. Lastly, if you don’t need credit, don’t apply for it.
Checking Your Credit Score
As required by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) must provide one free credit report annually to each person upon request. These reports contain information about your bill-paying habits, where you live and if you’ve filed for bankruptcy or have been sued. Checking your credit scores is as easy as visiting annualcreditreport.com. You can also call 1-877-322-8228 or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and get your free annual credit reports.
You can also sign up for services that actively monitor your credit score at one, two, or all three major credit agencies for $10 to $15 a month. These services have a number of pros and cons. One of the advantages of subscribing to one of these services is that you receive ongoing updates about your credit activities. As a result, credit monitoring allows you to stay on top of your activities. The service can also notify you of fraud as well as indicate errors on your credit reports.
However, there are also some disadvantages of credit monitoring services. Credit monitoring might not catch some activities. Although they monitor your credit activity, the services may not tell you if someone uses your name or SSN to open accounts. Also, these services cannot prevent theft or fraud; they only alert you after the fact.
Another risk of signing up for a credit monitoring program is that you aren’t careful you might overpay for your subscription. Good credit monitoring starts at around $10 a month, but there are some companies out there that charge four times that much while offering few (if any) additional services. Be careful and choose a credit monitoring service that won’t overcharge you.
Request a Loan Through LoanStart
If you find yourself in need of funds, LoanStart invites you to request a personal loan through our site. We partner with a variety of affiliate lenders and lending partners who work with customers with all types of credit scores. Work with us, and we may find you a lender who can get you the cash that you need!