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What Is Considered a Fair Credit Score?

Published January 26, 2023
2 min read

Key points about: fair credit scores

  1. On the FICO® Score scale1, a fair credit score is 580-669

  2. Consumers with a fair credit score may have had missed payments in the past and/or have higher levels of credit card debt

  3. One of the best ways to help a fair credit score is to make on-time payments

Have you recently checked your credit and found you fall within the fair credit score range, but you aren’t sure what that means? Here, we’ll discuss what a fair credit score is, how a fair credit score may affect your ability to get a loan, and how to stay on top of a fair credit score.

What is a fair credit score?

There is no single numerical definition for what is considered a fair credit score. That’s because there are multiple credit bureaus and each uses a different model to determine scores. One of the most widely used scoring models is called a FICO® Score. That stands for Fair Isaac Corporation–though the company officially changed its name to FICO in 2009–and your credit score is calculated using the information on your credit report. 90% of top lenders use FICO® Credit Scores, including Discover.1

According to the FICO® Score scale1, a fair credit score is 580-669. Consumers in this range may have had a missed payment and/or have high levels of credit card debt. With a score in the fair range, consumers may find themselves paying higher interest rates on credit cards and other debts.

The FICO® Credit Score ranges

There are five credit score ranges in the FICO® Score scale1.

  • Exceptional—800 to 850
  • Very good—740 to 799
  • Good—670 to 739
  • Fair—580 to 669
  • Poor—579 or less

Other fair credit score ranges

FICO is just one example of a credit scoring model. You could have a credit score of 580, but a lender might not consider it a fair credit score if they use another credit scoring model. For example, the fair credit score range from VantageScore® is 601-660.

Stay on top of your fair credit score

If you have a fair credit score and want to help it, there are several things you can do to influence it. Our credit score guide gives a comprehensive list, but two important steps are:

  • Make on-time payments: The most important factor in FICO® Credit Scores1 is a track record of making payments on time.
  • Avoid too much credit card debt: Your score also takes into account your credit account balances and the amount of available credit you’re using. This is called your credit utilization ratio.

Why good credit scores are important

Lenders and landlords consider your credit score as an assessment of your financial capability. The difference between a fair credit score and a good credit score may determine whether you can get access to new credit, and how much interest you’ll pay on things like credit cards, bank loans, and home mortgages.

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