How Good Is a Credit Score of 648?

FT Contributor
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According to credit reporting agency Experian, a credit score of 648 officially ranks as “Fair.” While this means you’ve surpassed “Very Poor” credit rankings, Fair ranking still requires further improvement before you’ll benefit from lower interest rates and streamlined loan applications.

Sometimes, credit scores can seem difficult to understand. A collection of five financial factors that determine the creditworthiness of a borrower, your credit score helps lenders identify a consumer’s capability of repaying a loan.

Free credit aggregation programs are a great place to start, for any borrowers looking to familiarize themselves with the most recent updates to their credit rating.

Many borrowers trust safe-to-use service AnnualCreditReport.com, to deliver comprehensive credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in a single, convenient location.

Why Your Credit Score Is 648

While it isn’t possible to definitively identify all of the reasons for a credit score of 648, common influences on a Fair credit score include a still-maturing credit age, inconsistent payment history, and higher levels of total debt.

Still-Maturing Credit Age

One of the major contributing factors to a borrower’s credit score, credit age is the average of all active lines of credit. Mature credit age is one of the signs of a “Good” credit score, while Fair credit scores of 648 can be negatively affected by still-maturing credit ages.

No matter your overall score, borrowers can take steps to ensure that credit age positively influences future growth in rankings. Even though it may be tempting to acquire new credit cards — especially when opening a new credit card can mean steep rewards — opening unnecessary credit accounts can work to lower your credit score.

Your average credit age is compromised every time a new line of credit is obtained. Borrowers who maintain high overall credit scores understand the importance of allowing credit age to mature, instead of opening new accounts to pay off old debts.

Inconsistent Payment History

Payment history is the single-most-important ranking factor in determining a consumer’s credit rating, accounting for 35% of the total credit score equation.

A record of full, on-time payments can help systematically increase a borrower’s credit score; just as easily, missed or incomplete payments can compromise a credit rating, and make future improvements more difficult to achieve.

It may sound simple to improve payment history: borrowers need to make on-time payments before balances are due, to establish a clean record and improve their credit score as a result.

However, in reality, this often requires more disciplined spending habits. Individuals with credit scores of 648 need to eliminate unnecessary purchases and ensure that sufficient portions of monthly wages are reserved specifically for credit repayment.

Higher Levels of Total Debt

Total debt is another important factor in deciding a borrower’s credit score. Accounting for 30% of the credit score equation, total debt refers to the comprehensive remaining balance a borrower has left, across all active lines of credit.

Individuals with credit scores of 648 typically face higher average levels of debt, requiring steeper monthly payments to fully meet repayment deadlines.

Under some circumstances, it is normal to encounter higher levels of debt in a credit account. For instance, borrowers who have recently closed on personal or property loans will naturally face higher debt levels.

Especially for consumers with Fair credit scores, it is important that credit payments are prioritized in the months immediately following a successful loan.

Making full loan repayments can help strengthen payment history, and even help you begin to recoup any credit points lost as a result of the total debt increase.

What Can You Do With a 648 Credit Score?

A credit score of 648 might make it more difficult for consumers to qualify for new loans or credit cards. Even when borrowers are accepted with a Fair credit score, they still may face higher significant fees, and higher interest rates and payment requirements.

Consult the below details, to determine the opportunities that a 648 credit score allows borrowers to pursue.

  • Rewards-based credit cards allow consumers to earn incentives from a wide variety of transactions.
    • While a credit score of 648 won’t qualify a borrower for all of the best rewards-based credit cards — which offer airline miles, hotel and restaurant points, as well as cash-back options — you’ll still be able to qualify for a credit card that offers 0% financing and rewards from popular retail outlets.
  • Personal loans allow borrowers to fund personal projects, everything from a destination wedding to a weekend home renovation.
    • Depending on your lender, a credit score of 648 may be sufficient to qualify for a personal loan.
    • However, consumers with a Fair credit score may also face higher interest rates and fees if accepted.
    • Personal loans for low credit scores can help consumers secure necessary financing in a pinch.
  • Mortgage loans provide borrowers with the financing for housing, which allows them to take steps toward homeownership.
    • With a 648 credit score, you may qualify for a mortgage loan — depending on your lender’s requirements.
    • If accepted, you can expect to face steeper interest rates, higher monthly payments, and the possibility of extra origination fees.
  • Apartment rentals are often available to individuals with 648 credit scores.
    • Especially since most apartment managers commonly deal with lower credit scores, individuals with Fair credit scores often qualify for apartment rentals — depending on the individual apartment community.

Consumers with a credit score of 648 may experience challenges in obtaining new lines of credit. Fortunately, lenders offering loans for poor credit scores can help you secure the financing you need, when you need it.

How to Repair a 648 Credit Score

Repairing a credit score of 648 first means prioritizing serious risks to your Fair credit ranking. Addressing loans in default and payments due to collections agencies — while avoiding bankruptcy — can help foster a healthy foundation for subsequent credit score increases.

After the biggest risks to your Fair credit score are addressed, repairing a 648 credit score means simple, calculated steps.

Reserve sufficient portions of your salary to pay down credit balances, reducing total debts, and improving long-term payment history. Rather than frequently opening new lines of credit, pay down loans from the same credit accounts to improve credit age.

Unaddressed, errors in a credit report will also compromise your overall credit score. Fortunately, the best credit repair agencies can communicate directly with lenders and credit companies on your behalf, correcting any issues and improving the likelihood of future credit score improvements.


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