A 676 credit score is a good credit score. This isn’t just opinion. It’s a fact.
If you’re not sure what your credit score is, AnnualCreditReport.com lets you see your credit report from all three major credit bureaus once per year at absolutely no cost to you.
According to the official FICO credit score model, a “good credit score” is between 670 and 739 points. This puts a 676 credit score six points above the lower end of that spectrum.
While a 676 credit score is technically “good,” it falls short of the “very good” and “exceptional” categories of the FICO model. That said, it is certainly much better to have good credit than a number in the “poor” or “fair” credit score ranges that precede it.
While a good credit score is certainly respectable, it shouldn’t be your last stop on your credit journey. There is still plenty of room for improvement. With that in mind, it’s worth taking the time to analyze your score and figure out what you are doing right and what you can do better in the name of improving your score in the future.
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Why Your Credit Score Is 676
It’s impossible to ever fully break down the details that specifically lead to your credit score. Your 676 score consists of countless financial activities in your past.
Some of these influence your score positively while others do so negatively. All of them add together to create a unique combination of factors that equal your individual score.
While you cannot be overly formulaic about how your score got to 676, it’s possible to estimate which of your financial behaviors helped or hindered your credit journey so far. Below are some of the most common factors that impact your credit score. Review each one and consider if your past activity in that area is either exemplary or in need of improvement.
When discussing credit scores, payment history is nearly always brought up — and with good reason. Your payment history constitutes a whopping 35% of your overall score. This makes it the number one factor that the FICO model takes into consideration.
Your ability or inability to make payments consistently, in full, and on time makes a huge difference on where your score currently stands.
If you have derogatory marks on your credit report, it can negatively influence your credit score for two, seven, and even 10 years at a time, depending on the kind of mark.
Derogatory marks show up on your report for a variety of different reasons, such as:
- Defaulting on a loan;
- Repossession of an item;
- Collection agency claims;
- A foreclosure on your home.
A derogatory mark on your credit report is never desirable and should be avoided at all costs.
Age and Variety of Credit
The age of your credit affects how high your score can go. If your credit is fairly young, your score may be artificially reduced. As it gets older and a better picture of your financial track record emerges, your score will adjust accordingly.
In addition, the kind of credit options that you utilize can impact your score. If you only have one kind of credit, it can hold you back. However, if you show that you can responsibly take out auto loans, personal loans, student loans, credit cards, and mortgages without creating a mess in the process, it can boost your score.
Credit Utilization Ratio and Total Debt
The quantity of money you owe can be a factor in calculating your score. If you have an enormous pile of growing debt, it will make a lender hesitate.
On top of that, the amount of available credit that you use makes a big difference. If you have $20,000 of credit available and you borrow half of it, you have a 50% credit utilization ratio. Anything over 30% can harm your credit score.
Finally, hard inquiries can also hurt your credit score, though only temporarily. A hard inquiry takes place when a lender officially checks your credit report before giving you a loan. This kind of mark only lasts for a couple of years and stops impacting your score within 12 months.
What Can You Do With a 676 Credit Score?
Having a good credit score opens up several helpful borrowing possibilities. However, the fact that you don’t have a very good or exceptional score may limit how you can take advantage of them. Some of the most obvious things you can do with a 676 credit score include:
- Applying for a loan: With a good credit score, it’s easier to be approved for everything from a mortgage to an auto loan or other kinds of personal loans. However, even if you receive approval, you will likely have to pay a steeper price in interest since your score isn’t higher.
- Getting an apartment: Landlords often require a credit check before approving a tenant. This helps them see if you are responsible and have a history of making payments on time.
- Opening up a credit card: Many major credit card companies will give a card to someone with good credit. However, your mid-range credit score may mean you aren’t able to tap into some of the additional perks and benefits that come with many rewards cards.
From revolving credit to personal loans, mortgages to apartments, there are many aspects of life that become easier when you have a good credit score. Nevertheless, there are still ways that a mediocre score like this can hold you back — which is why you shouldn’t rest, even with a decent score of 676.
How to Improve a 676 Credit Score
If you’re enjoying the benefits of having good credit, it’s wise to make plans to boost your score even higher. The better your score is, the more you can gain access to things like:
- Lower interest rates;
- Smaller down payments;
- Fewer security deposits;
- Higher credit limits;
- Credit card rewards.
Of course, quality credit doesn’t come out of thin air. You have to work at it purposefully and diligently over time. Here are a few suggestions for ways to do so:
- Review your credit report: If you have a mark on your report, it’s important to verify whether it’s legitimate. If it isn’t, send a dispute letter to the credit bureaus. If it is, resolve the issue and send a forgiveness letter to the lender.
- Work on your payment history: If you can perfect your payment history, it will naturally boost your score.
- Stick to a budget: Do your best to create a solid budget that factors in both short- and long-term financial planning as well as a good payment plan that helps you pay down your non-revolving debt as quickly as possible.
- Utilize your existing credit: Try to use your revolving credit lines consistently, responsibly, and without pushing your credit utilization ratio over 30%.
You may have a good credit score now, and that’s an impressive accomplishment that shouldn’t be undervalued. However, it’s important to remember that this is just one stop on your credit journey. Do your best to continue working in a positive direction that includes a higher credit score and a firm financial foundation.
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