Feb 12, 2018 | John S Kiernan, Senior Writer & Editor
The standard credit score range is 300 to 850. All of the most popular types of credit scores, including VantageScore 3.0 and FICO Score 8, now use that 300-to-850 credit score scale. But that hasn’t always been the case. And some alternate credit score ranges are still in use today.
Below, you can learn more about the standard credit score range, including which scores correspond to each credit rating: Excellent, Good, Fair/Limited, and Bad. You can also see what percentage of Americans belongs to each tier in the credit score range as well as their average age and income. You’ll find some examples of other credit score scales that you may come across, too.
If you’d like to see where your score is on the scale, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub, the first and only site with free daily updates.
Credit Score Ranges, Ratings & More
|Credit Score Range||Credit Score Rating||Population Share||Characteristics|
|720–850||Excellent||38.12%||Average Age: 52.3 years
Average Income: $64,269
|660–719||Good||17.33%||Average Age: 46.87
Average Income: $58,740
|620–659||Fair/Limited||13.47%||Average Age: 44.70
Average Income: $53,947
|300–619||Bad||31.08%||Average Age: 41.10
Average Income: $45,797
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a mortgage or an auto loan with bad credit.
Note: The most popular credit scores use the same range. But lenders often establish their own thresholds for each credit rating tier.
Factoids About the Credit Score Range
- 800+ is considered a perfect credit score.
- 3 states have average credit scores above 700: Minnesota (702), Hawaii (701) and North Dakota (701).
- 5 states have average scores below 650, with Mississippi (642) bringing up the rear.
- 282 cities have average credit scores of 720 or higher, led by The Villages, Fla., at 779.
- 92 cities have an average score below 620, worst of all Camden, N.J. (566)
Other Credit Score Ranges
Below you will find a list of the credit-score models that are exceptions to the 300-to-850 rule. As you’ll see, most are either industry-specific scores or older versions of models widely used today. You should therefore operate under the assumption that your score is based on the standard range unless you know, or are informed, that it’s based on one of the following versions:
For more information about the credit-score numbers game, you can check your score for free on WalletHub, the only website that provides daily score updates. And if you’re still hungry for information, why not learn how credit scores are calculated?
Ask the Experts: Climbing the Credit Score Range
It may seem pretty straightforward, but the credit score scale has a surprising amount of depth. There’s a lot to a learn about both the range and your place on it. So check out what our expert panel had to say in response to the following questions.
- How beneficial is it for consumers that both of the most popular credit-scoring models now use the same range (300-850)?
- Do you think uniformity in the credit-score range has helped to promote the idea that there is a single “real” credit score?
- Is it important to consistently check the same type of credit score, to accurately gauge your position on the credit-score scale?
Department Chairman and Professor of Accounting in the College of Business at the University of North Texas
How beneficial is it for consumers that both of the most popular credit-scoring models now use the same range (300-850)?
Pretty beneficial. It’s less confusing for consumers, and lenders are more likely to make consistent decisions regarding a potential borrower. However, it’s also important that the credit scoring industry use a transparent, constant algorithm to score the consumer. Otherwise, there’s still likely to be confusion as to why scores differ from one rating agency to another, even if they have the same range.
Do you think uniformity in the credit-score range has helped to promote the idea that there is a single “real” credit score?
The answer depends on the algorithm or credit scoring model used to calculate the score. Even if the range is the same, if the algorithm or model differs, there’s likely to be different scores for a given consumer at any point in time; that creates confusion.
Is it important to consistently check the same type of credit score, to accurately gauge your position on the credit-score scale?
Absolutely. This is essential. Many credit card companies now offer free credit score reporting, and I would strongly encourage consumers to keep track of this. Another useful tip is for consumers to put a credit freeze in place, and then monitor their scores to make sure there’s no breach.