If you have a credit score of 660, you have a Fair credit score. According to the FICO credit score model, the “Fair” credit score range extends from 580 to 669.
Fair credit is not ideal and it’s wise to make plans to boost your score by at least 10 points. This would put you at the bottom of the “Good” credit range, which is a much better place to work from.
Use the following information to identify what activities are holding you back from a higher credit score. Then use your newfound knowledge to create a financial plan aimed at taking your credit score from good to great.
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Why Your Credit Score Is 660
Every credit score is a combination of many different financial factors. These are unique to each individual, which means your credit score represents a one-of-a-kind combination of financial considerations.
This makes it impossible to specifically break down each score in a straightforward manner. However, that doesn’t change the fact that many of the same elements are involved in the scoring method.
These are included below. Review each category and compare it against your own financial track record. This should begin to reveal what areas of activity are aiding your score and which ones are dragging it down.
Your payment history makes up a robust 35% of your total credit score. As such, it’s the most important factor to consider. Even if you only miss an occasional payment, it can hurt your credit score.
Your credit utilization ratio is another critical factor that can lead to a bad credit score. This consists of the amount of your available credit that you’ve actually used. If you borrow more than 30% of your available lines of credit, it can begin to hurt your score.
Non-revolving credit is the money that you’ve borrowed as a single, one-time loan. This includes things like auto loans and mortgages. The total quantity of non-revolving credit that you have can impact your score, with excessive amounts of debt being particularly harmful.
The average age of all of your credit is another important consideration. If you’re young or you recently took out multiple lines of new credit, it can water down your credit age, reducing your score in the process.
The variation in your lines of credit is worth considering, as well. Do you have a good mixture of credit options, such as a mortgage, auto loan, student loans, and credit cards? Too little variety can stunt your credit score.
If you have a derogatory mark on your credit report, it can quickly and significantly hurt your score. This can be anything from a loan that is in default to a collection agency claim, a foreclosure, or declaring bankruptcy.
What Can You Do With a 660 Credit Score?
Though you aren’t completely stuck, there may be some limitations on what you can do with a credit score of 660. Most of the time you can partake in normal financial activity, but there will be strings attached. For example:
- Getting a loan can be challenging: While you can still apply for a mortgage or a personal loan, your options will be more limited. Lenders can turn you down and those that may approve you are likely to charge higher interest and nasty missed payment fees.
- Addressing housing can be expensive: Once again, if approved, a mortgage will likely come with a hefty interest rate.
- If you opt to rent until you boost your score — or even indefinitely — your landlord may require a credit check before approving you.
- A lower score could mean higher security deposits and possibly even a straight-up rejection.
- Opening up credit cards may be restrictive: If you want a credit card, you may have to work extra hard to get one.
- With a fair credit score, you’ll likely face various extra factors, such as higher interest rates, annual fees, a lower borrowing limit, and fewer rewards.
While you still have options, there are clear drawbacks to operating with a fair credit score.
How to Repair a 660 Credit Score
If you have a credit score of 660, it’s wise to set your sites on improving your credit. This shouldn’t feel too overwhelming, as the threshold for a good score is just 10 points away.
Nevertheless, it’s going to take a coordinated and thought-out effort to make a difference in your financial activity. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
- Shore up your budget: Creating, updating, and sticking to a budget is one of the most important financial habits that you can adopt.
- Utilize your revolving credit: Try to use your credit cards and other revolving credit options regularly and responsibly to build up a solid credit history.
- Address your non-revolving credit: If you have a lot of stagnant debt piling up, do your best to reverse this trend and pay it down as quickly as possible.
- Work on your payment history: Even an occasional missed payment can be damaging. Set up autopay, put reminders in your phone, and generally do your best to make every payment in full and on time.
Along with these general suggestions, it’s also a good idea to get your free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus and conduct a thorough review of their contents. As you do so, look for two things: errors and derogatory marks.
For the former, send a dispute letter to the credit bureau challenging incorrect information. For the latter, resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Then send a forgiveness letter to the original lender explaining yourself and requesting that the item be removed.
If you find that the task of improving your credit feels too big, you can always reach out to a professional to help you. As long as you take the time to select a good credit repair company, this will give you access to quality advice and direction as you look for ways to take your credit to the next level.
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