A credit score of 679 is a good credit score. This isn’t just objective, it’s true.
According to the FICO credit score model, the five credit score tiers are:
- Very Poor: 300 to 579.
- Fair: 580 to 669.
- Good: 670 to 739.
- Very Good: 740 to 799.
- Exceptional: 800 to 850.
While 679 is technically “Good,” it is on the lower end of that rating and could quickly drop into the “Fair” range.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to review how your score got to this point. This can help you see what activities — both good and bad — contributed to your score and what you can do to continue to benefit from good credit for the foreseeable future.
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Why Your Credit Score Is 679
Every credit score is unique. It represents a combination of various financial factors and activities, all of which are specific to the individual it belongs to.
With that being the case, it’s impossible to be overly formulaic when discussing how a certain score might have reached 679.
Even so, there are several major contributing factors that arbiters tend to prioritize when they’re discussing credit scores. Here are seven of the most important elements that go into creating a credit score. Consider how each one has positively or negatively impacted your score, particularly in the last seven to 10 years.
Your payment history is the number one factor impacting your credit score. Your ability or inability to make payments on time accounts for as much as 35% of your entire score.
On the one hand, even an occasional missed payment is not great and may linger on your report for as much as seven years, hurting your score. On the other hand, perfect payment history can be the foundation for a stellar score. It shows that you are responsible and can be trusted to pay back borrowed funds.
Credit utilization is another major factor that may hurt or hinder your score. This is the amount of available credit you’re utilizing at any given moment.
If you have $10,000 available and you’ve borrowed $4,000 of it, your ratio would be 40%. When your credit utilization ratio rises over 30% on each of your accounts, it tends to harm your score.
The older the age of your credit, the better. This considers the average age of all of your lines of credit. So, if someone with 60 years of credit opens five new accounts all at once, their average age will drop significantly, hurting their score in the process.
Credit age makes it particularly challenging for younger individuals to have higher scores. The unseasoned condition of their credit naturally keeps their score from getting too high.
Your credit score can be dragged down if you have a limited variety of credit types, whereas having a mixture of different credit options is much better. For instance, if you responsibly manage a mortgage, car loan, credit cards, and student loans all at the same time, it’s much better for your score than if you only have one or two of those options.
If your total debt is very high, it can hurt your credit score. A huge pile of non-revolving debt is a sign to lenders that you cannot pay back what you’ve already borrowed. This can deter them from wanting to let you borrow even more money.
You may get a copy of your credit reports from AnnualCrediReport.com once a year for free. This will show you if you have any derogatory marks.
These can come from bad financial events such as defaulting on a loan, a claim from a collection agency, or the repossession of an item. A derogatory mark is not good and can linger on your report for years at a time.
A hard inquiry takes place when a lender officially checks your credit report before giving you a loan. This temporarily reduces your score, but only for up to 12 months.
As long as you don’t get too many hard inquiries in a short period, it shouldn’t seriously impact your score for the long term.
What Can You Do With a 679 Credit Score?
There are many things that you can do with a Good credit score of 679. For instance, it allows you to:
- Get an apartment: Many landlords require a credit check to see if you’re a responsible tenant who can make your payments on time.
- Open up a credit card: You may apply for a credit card with a lower score. However, having good credit means you can also qualify for lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and even some of the rewards and other benefits that many card companies offer.
- Get a personal loan: From a car to a home to a home equity loan, if you need to borrow money, you have a much better chance of approval with a Good credit score. In addition, you’ll likely qualify for a lower interest rate.
While credit cards and loans are great benefits that come with good credit, there are still many more rewards and even lower interest rates that you can access with a higher score.
How to Improve a 679 Credit Score
A credit score of 679 is nothing to complain about. However, it should only be a stop on your journey to the best credit possible. Here are a few ways that you can continue to boost your score to crack into the elite tiers of “Very Good” and even “Exceptional” credit.
- Review your credit report: This is an excellent first step. Get copies of your report from all three credit bureaus and review them.
- If you find a factual error, write a dispute letter to the bureau requesting that it be corrected.
- If you find a derogatory mark, resolve the issue and then send a forgiveness letter to the original lender asking for the mark to be removed.
- Build a solid budget: With a Good score, there likely aren’t any glaring financial activities that need to be addressed. However, by updating and sticking to a budget, you can ensure that you’re maximizing your financially responsible activity.
- Perfect your payments: If you have a habit of occasionally missing a payment, try to eliminate this. Create reminders, set up autopay, and do everything you can to never miss a payment.
- Manage your debt: Do your best to pay down all non-revolving debt — that is, one-time lump sums like an auto loan. At the same time, continue using your revolving credit, such as credit cards, while paying them off religiously.
By working on building positive financial habits, you can ensure that your score continues to climb further into the Good range. With good fiscal discipline, you will eventually reach even higher tiers, opening up an even larger world of savings, rewards, and possibilities for the future.
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