Credit score

What is a Credit score?

Credit score comes into play when you buy or rent a home, finance a car, apply for a credit card, or even sign up for cell phone service. But what is a good credit result during a pandemic, and how do you go about getting one? We asked experts to weigh in on how lenders evaluate your credit and what’s a good credit rating to aim for.

Credit score

Credit rating Ranges

300–579Very Poor
580–669Fair
670–739Good
740–799Very Good
800–850Exceptional
Credit score

How to Get a Good Credit Score

The best way to build a good credit result is by making payments on time, every time. You would think this is standard advice everyone knows and understands

Pay on time, every time

Late payments go on your credit report after 30 days and stay there for seven years. The later they become, the worse of a hit your score will take. Make sure you’re at least making the minimum payment required by your lender every month.

Don’t use all the credit you have

Once you get approved for a credit card, it’s tempting to use the available balance to make a large purchase you couldn’t previously afford. But this will only drive up your credit utilization ratio, or the ratio of your outstanding balances to the available limit. Run your balances up above 30% of your available credit, and you’ll see points start to fall off.

Keep old accounts open and active

The length of your credit history has an impact on your overall credit score, so the longer you keep accounts like credit cards open and in good standing, the more you’ll benefit. There’s just one stipulation: You also need to keep the accounts active, or they’ll eventually be taken off your report. Make sure you’re using each of your credit cards to make at least one small purchase every month, then pay off the balance in full.

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