How to Know If I Have a Bad Credit Score

by Leigh Thompson ; Updated July 27, 2017
Hands holding credit card

Even if you don't use credit cards, your credit score impacts your everyday life. Your credit report and score are pulled by potential employers, insurance agents, mortgage lenders and landlords. Having a bad score can cripple you financially as you pay more in interest, are denied for loans and lose potential jobs. Your credit score is a numerical representation of the information contained in your credit report. When you have a bad credit report, you have a bad credit score. Just how bad your credit score is depends on where you fall in the credit scales.

Step 1

Pull all four of your credit scores. You have two FICO scores based on your TransUnion and Equifax reports on MyFICO.com. You maintain a separate score on your Experian report based on its own information. TransUnion also provides its own Vantage Score, which is based on its proprietary formula. Most creditors use the FICO scores, but some use the separate Experian or TransUnion FAKO scores. You will have to pay for these reports. The price range is approximately $10 to $20. You have no legal right to free access to your credit score.

Step 2

Compare your credit scores to the credit score scales. Excellent credit falls with in the range of 720 to 850. Scores from 660 to 719 are considered good, while scores of 620 to 660 are fair. Anything under 620 is called bad credit.

Step 3

Review your credit score analysis to find ways to improve your credit score. Most credit reporting agencies provide an analysis of your credit score, including what factors are lowering your score and how to improve them. Take this advice to heart to start building your good credit history.

Tips

  • Credit monitoring services track changes to your credit report and score for a fee. Consider paying for this service as you improve your credit to know about changes to your report when they happen.

About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

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