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660 credit score: A guide to credit scores

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    • A 660 credit score falls into the “fair” credit range of the two main credit scoring models.
    • While you may get approved for credit, a 660 credit score may hold you back from getting some additional opportunities.
    • You may be able to improve your 660 credit score with some consistent, healthy financial habits.

    When you check your credit score, you may not fully realize what it is the number is telling you. Is it good? Bad? This number can be confusing if you don’t understand all the inner workings of what goes into generating it. Below, we’ll help you unpack what a 660 credit score means.

    Understanding a 660 credit score

    A credit score of 660 falls within the fair credit score ranges for both VantageScore® and FICO® scoring models, standing slightly above of a poor credit score range. A VantageScore of 601-660 or a FICO score of 580-669 fall within the fair range. While a 660 score may not be considered to be “good” or “excellent,” the next tiers above fair, it is still within an acceptable range for some lenders.

    Individuals with fair credit may face some challenges when applying for cards or loans, but there are still options available. It’s possible that a 660 credit score indicates you are just starting out and building up your credit history. It could also imply you have negative remarks on your credit report and adjusting your current behavior could help improve it.

    Financial opportunities with a 660 score

    With a 660 credit score, you can still get approved for several types of loans and credit cards. Keep in mind that your options may come with higher annual percentage rates (APRs) than if you had a higher credit score (though other factors also apply). With consistency and time, you can leverage these opportunities to gradually help you improve your credit score and possibly unlock better interest rates and other options.

    According to Experian™, one of the three main credit bureaus, you generally need a credit score of at least 620 to get approved for a mortgage. Keep in mind that the higher your down payment, the more likely it is that your lender may negotiate better rates for your mortgage.

    Additionally, a 660 credit score can generally qualify you for several types of credit cards. While these cards might not have all the perks and rewards of your choosing, they can generally help you establish a credit history and provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate sound financial behavior. However, if you continue working towards improving your credit score, you may unlock future financial opportunities potentially including lower rates, rewards programs and diverse credit card offerings.

    How to manage and improve your credit score

    Whether you’re new to credit or want to make changes to your financial habits so you can have access to more financial options, you might be wondering how to improve your credit score. There are plenty of ways to do this. To help you improve your 660 credit score, consider implementing the following strategies.

    Monitoring your credit report

    Regularly monitoring your credit score allows you to identify any errors or fraudulent activity and take steps to correct them. It also helps you become more aware and educated about your financial health.

    One way you can regularly monitor your credit is by enrolling in Chase Credit Journey®, a free online tool where you can check your credit score with no impact to your credit. You can also enroll in identity and credit monitoring alerts to help you become more aware of your credit activity. If you receive an alert about a data breach, for example, you can take steps towards safeguarding your personal information to help avoid further potential risk.

    Focus on your payment history

    Payment history is heavily factored in calculating your credit score. It makes up a whopping 40% of your VantageScore. This is largely due to the fact that payment history is an indicator of your ability to handle debt responsibly. Even just one missed or late payment can have a negative impact on your credit score. Make sure to pay your credit card bills or loan installments in a timely fashion. Doing so can help you improve your payment history, and in turn, your credit score over time.

    Address your debt

    Debt can be daunting, but taking small steps towards managing it can help you lower your debt-to-income ratio, an important factor that lenders consider. Start by prioritizing which debts you’re looking to pay off first and implement different strategies as needed, such as the debt avalanche method or snowball method.

    Lower your credit utilization ratio

    Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you use against your total available credit. For example, if you have one credit card with a credit limit of $6,000 and you use $3,000 of that amount, your ratio would be 50%. Ideally, you want to lower your credit utilization ratio to 30% (or even less). This can help increase your credit score over time.

    Keep old accounts open

    It may seem logical to close a credit card account you never use, but consider pausing before you do this. If you have a credit card account open for a long time but find that you’re not frequently using it, think twice before closing it. Instead, you may want to use this card sparingly to keep it active, since some issuers close those accounts which are inactive for a specific period of time. Keeping this card open can help to maintain your credit history and credit mix.

    Consider using the Credit Journey® credit score improvement feature

    Enrolling in Credit Journey gives you access to numerous tools and resources, including the credit score improvement tool. You can receive a personalized action plan provided by Experian™, which uses your financial behavior to create a plan specific to you and your goals.

    In conclusion

    A 660 credit score is seen as fair by most lenders, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access the financial opportunities you’re seeking. You can still get approved for credit cards and loans, but if you want better rates and additional options to choose from, you may want to focus on improving your score by adopting some healthy, consistent habits. With patience, you may find that your score elevates you to a new level of empowerment, providing you with more agency over your financial future.

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