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790 credit score: A guide to credit scores

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    Quick insights

    • A 790 credit score falls into the “very good” or “excellent” credit score category depending on the scoring model used.
    • You may access more financial opportunities with a 790 credit score than someone with a lower score, such as more favorable annual percentage rates (APRs).
    • It may take patience, diligence and healthy financial habits, but it is possible to further improve your score from 790 to 800.

    As you continue to build your credit, you may be wondering how your credit score creates more opportunities for you. What does a 790 credit score mean and what range does it fall into? We’ll discuss all these and more below.

    Understanding a 790 credit score

    Depending on the scoring model used, a 790 credit score may fall into different ranges. Let‘s review the breakdown of scores for both VantageScore® and FICO® scoring models below.

    As of May 2024, VantageScore® ranges are:

    • Excellent: 781 to 850
    • Good: 661 to 780
    • Fair: 601 to 660
    • Poor: 500 to 600
    • Very Poor: 300 to 499

    As of May 2024, FICO® score ranges are:

    • Exceptional: 800+
    • Very Good: 740 to 799
    • Good: 670 to 739
    • Fair: 580 to 669
    • Poor: 579 and below

    As you can see, a 790 VantageScore is labeled as excellent while a 790 credit FICO score is labeled as very good. Either way, compared to lower credit scores, a 790 credit score can offer better chances of easier access to credit, lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, and more favorable terms for financial products. Maintaining this number can be key to keeping up with financial wellness.

    Rarity of a 790 credit score

    A 790 credit score is rare and falls within the top tier of credit scores. According to Experian™, one of the three main credit bureaus, only about 25% of people have a very good FICO score. Falling in this range demonstrates responsible credit management and can open up various financial opportunities. Let’s explore some of these below.

    Buying a house with a 790 credit score

    Buying a home with a 790 credit score may be possible, but it depends on your lender. Carefully review and compare different lenders and loan options to find your best fit for your specific circumstances. While important, credit scores are just one of several factors lenders use when approving home loans. In general, some lenders may require a larger down payment, charge higher interest rates or have stricter loan terms for mortgage applicants they may consider in the “good” range.

    Maximizing opportunities with a 790 credit score

    With a 790 credit score, you may have access to a wide range of financial opportunities, including credit cards with attractive rewards and benefits and more favorable loan terms. You may qualify for higher credit limits on credit cards and lower interest rates on loans compared to individuals with lower or ”good” credit scores. However, there are other factors that will be evaluated.

    You may leverage your credit to qualify for cards with specialty perks and rewards. These cards may come with higher credit limits or opportunities to earn cash back and other perks and benefits. It is important to shop around and compare offers from different lenders to find the terms and rates best suited for you. Remember, when you take out a new credit card account, your lender will need to run a hard inquiry, which can temporarily decrease your credit score.

    Difference between 790 and 800 credit scores

    While both a 790 and 800 credit score are considered to be very good or excellent by most scoring models, there are some differences in terms of potential benefits and opportunities. Individuals with an 800 credit score may have slightly better access to credit and may qualify for even lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. However, please note that there are other factors that also come into play.

    The difference between these two scores is relatively small and both offer similar advantages in terms of creditworthiness.

    Helping increase a credit score from 790 to 800

    To increase a credit score from 790 to 800, individuals may need to exercise patience and take precise measures. Some steps a person can take to help improve their very good credit score include, but are not limited to:

    • Try to avoid closing accounts. Closing an old or rarely used credit card account can decrease your credit score because it might affect your credit history and total available credit, so it’s best to keep these active as you pursue a higher score.
    • Lower your credit utilization ratio. With a 790 score, you may already have a credit utilization ratio of 30% or less. Continuing to lower this ratio can help boost your score in the long run. This means using less of your total available credit limit. One way you can do this is by reviewing your budget to make certain cuts in your spending.
    • Diversify your credit mix. This is especially true if you have a less robust profile (for example, you only have credit card accounts but no personal loans). If you don’t have a diverse credit profile, consider taking out a different type of line of credit. Keep in mind that this can temporarily hurt your score at first due to lenders running a hard credit check during the application process.
    • Manage your credit wisely. This means you continue to make your payments on time and limit your credit use where possible, as well as continue to make payments towards your debts. Monitor your credit reports for accuracy and report any inaccuracies you may find to the credit bureau(s).
    • Protect your information. Protecting your score from identity theft is essential. Having a high credit score doesn’t mean you are invisible to bad actors who may try to steal your information, leading to a negative impact to your credit score. Remain proactive and protect your information by, for example, shredding important documents and using strong passwords and secure websites.
    • Consider enrolling in Chase Credit Journey®. This is a free online tool that anyone (including non-Chase cardmembers) can use to check their credit score without impacting it. It also comes with a credit score improvement feature which generates a personalized action plan provided by Experian™ so you can get a guide of what steps may help to improve your score over time. .

    In summary

    A 790 credit score elevates you to the very good/excellent credit score category within the main scoring models, but it’s important to understand why and how you got there in order to maintain (or possibly improve) it. Whether you’re new to the practices of financial wellness or have monitored your credit score for a long time, you can always learn small ways to help improve your score and in turn, your overall foundation for financial stability.

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