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Figuring Out Your Credit Standing

There are 2 ways in trying to figure out your credit standing:
  1. Getting your actual credit score -- requires that you pay, but this is what we recommend!
  2. Guess estimate your credit standing -- no cost but is only accurate if you have ensured that there are no errors on your credit report and you are "financial savvy"

Getting your actual credit score:

Around once a year it is usually worthwhile to pay something extra and get your credit score so that you understand how your credit compares with everyone else -- is it average, exceptional, etc.

There are several sites where you can get your credit score. Our recommendation is to go to the equifax website.

Below is a generalized average rating of FICO scores. Most lenders look for acceptable or better scores; each lender makes a decision about what level of risk they are willing to accept.

  • 720-850: Excellent credit ("AA")
  • 700-719: Very Good credit ("A")
  • 660-699: Good credit ("B")
  • 620-659: Acceptable credit ("C")
  • 560-619: Poor credit ("D")
  • 500-560: Very poor credit ("E")
  • Below 500: No credit, credit-based applications denied outright ("F")
  • Invalid: You have no credit history

Guess estimate your credit standing:

There is no cost on this method but in order to make the most out of it you should ensure that there are no errors on your credit report. Click here for details about obtaining your free credit report.

Once you are confident that there are no errors you can use the following rules of thumb that we obtained from Capital One's website. Again this is just a rule of thumb and you should not be surprised if it leads to an inaccurate assessment.

Excellent Credit: All of these statements are true for you:
  • I have had a U.S. loan or U.S. credit card for at least 5 years
  • I have a credit card with a credit limit greater than $10,000
  • I have NEVER been more than 60 days late on a credit card, medical bill or loan payment
  • I have never declared bankruptcy
Above Average Credit: All of these statements are true for you:
  • I have had a U.S. loan or U.S. credit card for three years or more
  • I have had a credit card with a limit above $5,000
  • I have not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan payment in the last year
Credit That Needs Some Improvement: All of these statements are true for you:
  • I currently have or have had a U.S. loan or U.S. credit card
  • My credit limit on a current credit card, if any, is less than $5,000
  • I may have been late on more than one credit card, medical bill, or loan payment in the last six months
Limited Credit History: At a minimum all of these statements are true for you:
  • I have had my own U.S. loan or credit card for less than three years or never had one
  • I have a limited credit history, for example I am a student, or new to the country, or  a young person working for a living, or I have been an authorized user on someone else's credit card

Good luck,
Your Financial Ally