Your credit score tells lenders how risky a borrower you are. The higher your score, the less risk a lender takes. That’s why it’s important to get your credit score as high as possible.
A FICO credit score of 850 is considered perfect, and to be clear, most consumers do. do not have perfect credit. And you don’t even have to aim for perfect credit, because it’s extremely hard to achieve. But if your credit score is currently at 700, it might be worth working to improve it, even if it’s a good score to start with.
What can a higher credit score do for you?
Equifax, one of the major credit bureaus, says a credit score of 700 is considered good. On the other hand, a score of 740 to 799 is considered very good, while a score of 800 and above is considered excellent.
Now, these may seem like arbitrary designations, but what they’re really telling you is that while a 700 credit score is by no means bad, it’s also not exceptional. If your goal is to prepare to borrow at the most affordable rates, it pays to work to increase that score by 700.
Likewise, while it’s certainly possible to get approved for a credit card with a score of 700, some of the best credit card offers require a higher score. And if you want to qualify for them, you’ll have to raise that 700.
How to increase your credit score
Raising your credit score is not something you should expect overnight. But over time, you may be able to increase that number quite well.
There are different ways to boost your credit score, but a good place to start is to pay all your bills on time. Your payment history carries more weight when calculating your credit score than any other factor.
You can also increase your score by paying off some existing credit card debt. Credit usage is another important factor that determines your score, and it indicates how much of your total revolving credit you are using at one time.
If it’s not possible to pay off some credit card debt, you can reduce your usage (which will help your score) by requesting an increase in your credit card limits. Your credit card issuers may require you if you’ve had an account in good standing for a while or can prove you have more income than you had when you first applied for your cards .
Finally, it is always beneficial to check your credit report for errors. You are entitled to a free copy from each major reporting bureau (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) once a year. Currently, credit reports are free on a weekly basis until April. If you spot an error on your credit report that could lower your score, such as a debt in your name that you never incurred, getting it corrected could give your score a relatively quick boost.
While it’s not necessary to blame yourself for a credit score of 700, it could also be to your advantage to increase that number. The good news is that you’ll start off with a good score to begin with, so ideally you can work on increasing your credit without too much stress.
Alert: The highest cash back card we’ve seen now has 0% introductory APR through 2023
If you use the wrong credit or debit card, it could cost you dearly. Our expert loves this top pick, which includes a 0% introductory APR until 2023, an insane reimbursement rate of up to 5%, and all without annual fees.
In fact, this map is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Read our free review
We are firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are our own and have not been previously reviewed, approved or endorsed by the advertisers included. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. The editorial content of The Ascent is separate from the editorial content of The Motley Fool and is created by a different team of analysts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.