If you have a credit score of 664, it’s considered a “Fair” credit score.
A 664 credit score is a middle-of-the-road score based on Experian’s classifications. It’s only a few points lower than a “Good” classification (670 to 739), but potentially several hundred points higher than “Very Poor” (300 to 579.)
However, you still need just under 100 points to get into “Very Good” territory (740 to 799) and over 100 points to be considered “Exceptional” (800 to 850.)
In other words, your score isn’t likely to keep you from completely accessing credit, but you aren’t going to receive the same terms or low interest rates as someone with Very Good or Exceptional credit.
That doesn’t mean you can’t improve, though. By understanding what goes into your score calculation and what’s impacting your number, you can make changes or take action to improve it and get a better handle on your overall finances.
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Why Your Credit Score Is 664
Everyone’s credit score is determined by the same factors: the length of your credit history, payment history, balance owed, how much new credit you have, and the number of new applications you’ve made.
Each one of these factors is weighted differently, with the amount you owe (credit utilization) and your payment history being the most important ones.
Although every credit report is different, and we can’t say exactly what determines your credit score, here are some of the potential reasons that your score is 664.
Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. This is the largest portion, meaning your payment history is the most important factor in your score.
Because missing payments can drop your score faster than anything else, you are likely making your payments on time.
If you have missed payments in the past, though, or still owe money on a delinquent or collection account, or have previously had adverse information like delinquencies or collection accounts reported to the credit bureaus, your score could still be affected.
Amount You Owe
How much you owe on your existing accounts is the next biggest factor in your credit score, accounting for 30%. Owing money on your credit accounts doesn’t automatically make you a high risk, but using a significant portion of your available credit does reduce your score.
Lenders prefer customers to have the lowest possible utilization on their existing accounts. Your score can start dropping when you use just 5% of your available credit. When your balances are high in relation to your available credit, it might indicate that you are overextended financially, and a greater risk to lenders — thus the lower score.
Length of Credit History
In general, the longer your credit history, the better. The age of your accounts comprises 15% of your credit score. However, it’s more than how long you’ve had the account.
The age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, and the average age of all your accounts is taken into consideration, as well as the length of time since you last used any account. If you have a fairly short credit history, or you recently opened several new accounts, it could affect your credit score by a few points.
Ten percent of your credit score is determined by your credit mix; that is, the different types of accounts you have on your record, including credit cards, mortgages, and loans. You don’t have to have all types of credit, but being responsible with different account types can improve your score.
A hard inquiry into your credit history when you apply for new credit can lower your score by several points each time. Although inquiries generally fall off your credit report fairly quickly, applying for multiple credit accounts in a short period can take you from a Good to a Fair score rather quickly.
Inquiries only account for 10% of your overall score, but losing even a few points at this level can significantly impact your score.
What Can You Do With a 664 Credit Score?
A credit score of 664 is adequate for accessing most types of credit, including credit cards, mortgage loans, and auto loans. However, you’ll likely pay more for credit, and may need to jump through a few extra hoops when applying.
More specifically, with a 664 credit score, you can expect:
- Approval for some credit cards, including store cards, some rewards cards, and some 0% interest cards. You may not get the lowest interest rates or most generous sign-on bonuses, though, and your rewards earning potential is likely to be affected by a lower card limit than you’d get with excellent credit.
A 664 score is unlikely to be high enough for many hotel or airline rewards cards, however, and you’re more likely to have to pay an annual fee for most rewards cards.
- Approval for a home mortgage under some programs. Your credit score isn’t the only factor in determining mortgage approval, but 664 puts you in range for some lenders.
You will likely need to make a larger down payment, though, and you’ll pay a higher interest rate. The lender may also require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI).
- Approval for an auto loan, at a much higher interest rate than someone with a higher score. It’s unlikely you’ll qualify for 0% interest on an auto loan. You might also need to make a large down payment.
On the downside, a 664 credit score usually means you’ll pay more for auto and home or renter’s insurance. You may also have trouble when applying for a rental home or apartment, depending on the information in your credit report and your rental history.
How to Improve a 664 Credit Score
If your credit score is 664, there is room for improvement. Some of the things you can do to drive your score up include:
- Continue making payments on time, every month.
- Work toward paying down the balances on your existing accounts. Reduce your utilization as much as possible.
- Leave your credit card accounts open, even if you aren’t using them or have a zero balance. They are helping extend the length of your credit history and increasing your available credit, which boosts the score.
- Take care of any outstanding collection accounts on your record. You can likely negotiate to have the negative information removed from your credit report in exchange for paying the debt, even if you settle for less than you owe.
- Avoid applying for new credit unless necessary.
- Work with a credit counselor or credit repair company if you need help budgeting or coming up with a plan to reduce your debt.
Ultimately, it will take time to improve your credit score, but with focus and commitment, you can take your good 664 credit score and turn it into a Very Good or even an Exceptional one.
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