With a credit score over 700, you’re in a good credit place. Your credit score indicates that you pay bills on time and are careful with opening new lines of credit, qualifying you for top rates and offers.
Credit scores are a reflection of the information in your credit report.
“Credit scores are determined by looking at your payment history, your utilization rate (or balance-to-limit ratio on revolving accounts) length of credit history, recent activity and your overall debt,” says Rod Griffin, senior director consumer education and advocacy with Experian.
With a credit score over 700, you’re in a good credit place. Your credit score indicates that you pay bills on time and are careful with opening new lines of credit. Read on to learn more about what a score in the 700s can get you – and what it can’t.
How to check your credit score
First off, you need to know where your credit score stands. Luckily, checking your credit score is simple and free.
“You’re actually entitled to receive a free credit report every year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion,” says Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO and co-founder of Chargebacks911.
The FTC even has an easy-to-follow link for consumers.
Is a 700-plus credit score good?
While lenders determine what scores are “good” or “bad” based on their lending criteria, Griffin says scores greater than 700 are generally considered good.
Focusing on credit score ranges as opposed to a set number is also important. The FICO score model uses the following ranges:
- Poor: 300 to 579
- Fair: 580 to 669
- Good: 670 to 739
- Very good: 740 to 799
- Exceptional: 800 to 850
“Generally, your ability to access the best rates and terms will depend which score band you fall within, not what your actual score is,” Griffin says.
Your goal should not be to get a “perfect” credit score, but rather to maintain a positive credit history that results in scores that will get you the best terms and rates, he suggests.
“In most cases that means scores of 750 or higher,” Griffin said.
Once you’re at a 700-plus credit score, sound financial habits are important.
“The key is maintaining a good credit to available credit ratio, not applying for a lot of debt (as each inquiry can lower your score), ensuring you continue to make on time payments and where necessary, getting loans and promptly repaying on time or early,” says Alex Miller, founder and CEO of Upgraded Points.
What is the difference between a score in the low 700s and high 700s?
Griffin says credit scores up to about 750 are considered prime, meaning you will likely qualify for most offers, although you may not receive the best terms or rates at the lower end of that range.
“Scores of about 750 or greater will generally qualify for the best terms and rates. The differences may be been in the interest rate, terms or amount of credit offered,” Griffin says. “Someone with a higher credit score will likely have a lower interest rate and higher credit limits than someone with a lower credit score.”
Benefits of a 700-plus credit score
Lenders use their own discretion and criteria to determine the offers they will extend to someone. For example, Griffin says, a lender will determine the interest rate and credit limit on a credit card they may offer someone with a 700-plus score, and the higher the score, the better the terms.
Still, raising your score to 700 is an important milestone that unlocks the most competitive rewards credit cards.
“All sorts of new and enticing credit card offers will suddenly be available, but there’s no definitive ‘best’ credit card that all consumers must absolutely have,” says Eaton-Cardone. “It really depends on your values, priorities, aspirations and spending habits.”
How to improve your credit score
To improve your score, it’s important to understand where you currently stand from a credit perspective. Check your score and report to get an idea of how lenders see you.
“It takes time to build your payment history, so I encourage people to establish a credit history relatively early,” says Griffin. “That doesn’t mean you need lots of accounts or to take on debt.”
Here are some more tips that may help you raise your credit score:
1. Pay on time and keep balances low
Griffin says there are two things everyone must do to have good credit scores: Pay your bills on time, every time, and keep your credit card balances low.
“These are the two most heavily weighed factors in credit scoring,” he stresses.
For most people, catching up on any late payments and reducing credit card balances is the fastest way to improve credit scores.
2. Take action on past due credit card accounts
If you have any past due accounts, Griffin advises you should bring those accounts current and make all payments on time going forward.
3. Keep your expectations for improvement in check
Eaton-Cardone says it is usually easier and faster to resuscitate a low credit score and get it up to the 700-range than it is to raise a 700-score to the “exceptional” range.
“Depending on your personal situation, you can reach a 700-score within a handful of months,” she advises.
4. Realize what may be hindering your credit score boost
The amount of time it takes to improve your score will depend on the reason it needs work.
“Negative payment information, such as collections and late payments, will remain on your credit report for seven years, while chapter 7 bankruptcies remain for up to 10 years,” Griffin says.
5. Look for new tools to boost your score
There are also new tools available that can help you improve your credit scores. For example, Experian Boost is a free service that allows consumers to add positive cell phone, internet, cable, streaming service and utility payments to their Experian credit report for an opportunity to instantly improve their credit scores.
“Scores improve for more than 61% of Experian Boost users, and those who see their scores improve get an average boost of 13 points,” adds Griffin.
Think of your credit score as a financial ranking system.
“The higher your score, the lower your risk to lenders,” says Eaton-Cardone.
Moreover, paying careful attention to your credit scores will help you save money with better borrowing terms. Griffin says good scores can help you qualify for things like apartment leases at better rates and potentially reduce security deposits.
Good credit scores also can lead you to other incentives like cash back offers, airline miles and purchase discounts. Having a score of 700 or higher should set you up for some of the best interest rates and terms available on credit cards, car loans and mortgages, Griffin says.
To keep your score in its best possible shape, check it regularly, always make your payments on time and keep your utilization ratio low.