A credit score of 677 officially ranks as “Good,” according to the FICO scoring model. At only eight points above the minimum threshold to qualify as “Fair,” a 677 credit score could be the result of one or more credit deficiencies.
A 677 score certainly requires attention if you want to achieve an improved ranking. Any fiscal mistakes and you risk further credit score decreases, which may cause you to slip into the Fair credit score range (any score between 580 and 669).
The first step in understanding your credit score is understanding where the figure comes from. Five independent financial factors — average credit history age, new credit, existing payment history, credit type, and overall amount owed — comprise a single number known as a credit score.
Your credit score, expressed on a scale of 300 to 850, helps lenders gauge your loan aptitude and overall creditworthiness.
Whether you need a loan for a pending home or automobile purchase, or you’re simply looking to open a new line of credit, your credit score is a key indicator of your capacity to pay back a loan or pay off a credit balance.
Excellent credit scores identify highly responsible borrowers, while lower credit scores indicate necessary improvements and can point to potential liabilities.
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Why Your Credit Score Is 677
Ultimately, it’s tough to say exactly what has caused a person’s credit score to be what it is. Common influential factors that can determine credit score include total debt, hard inquiries, and bankruptcy.
High Levels of Debt
Owed credit comprises 30% of your total credit score, according to the FICO model. If you’ve just secured a loan, for example, your debt level is high.
Individuals who are committed to maintaining high credit scores will work to quickly reduce overall credit owed. This effort helps lower debt levels and preserve credit scores against the effects of continually high debt.
Credit scores are affected by the negative consequences of continuously lofty debt levels, especially if unpaid balances remain high through regular payment periods.
One surefire way to regularly lower debt levels is to assess monthly amounts owed against monthly amounts earned. Even if you’re earning healthy wages, the practice of generating more debt than you’re capable of paying off during a regular payment period will only put you further into debt.
Frequent or Numerous Hard Inquiries
Here’s another way to ensure a low credit score: unnecessary hard inquiries. Whenever a new potential lender gauges your capacity to repay a loan, they will typically perform a hard inquiry.
Though this type of credit check only remains on your financial record for a year, hard inquiries count against your credit score because they indicate your interest in opening a new line of credit, and potentially taking on even more debt.
Look to keep hard inquiries to a minimum; even if the lender’s hard inquiry results in additional loans, it only means higher balances to pay off. Unless you can justify the loan as both necessary and timely, hard inquiries often guarantee that your credit score won’t see the increase you’re hoping to achieve.
As you can imagine, bankruptcy doesn’t yield positive dividends for anyone’s credit score. On the contrary, bankruptcy means that a borrower is altogether unable to pay off his or her credit balances.
Public financial records can reflect bankruptcy for up to 10 years, making on-time payments even more important. Financial institutions, credit card companies, and lenders are always hesitant to work with borrowers demonstrating a history of bankruptcy, hence the impact on overall credit score.
What Can You Do With a 677 Credit Score?
While a credit score of 677 technically ranks as Good, it also indicates that you are probably facing an uphill battle when applying for a credit card, taking out a mortgage, or performing any action which requires a lender to look into loan aptitude.
Fortunately, a 677 credit score doesn’t bar you from all financial opportunities; thankfully, there are still opportunities to secure lines of credit while you adopt new, healthy credit strategies to increase overall credit score in the process.
Consult the below items for even more information on your options with a credit score of 677.
- Obtaining credit cards is certainly an option available to you. Some of the best rewards-based credit cards offer frequent flyer miles, restaurants and hotel rewards, as well as cash-back options, though they might register above your score. Fortunately, many reputable credit cards are well within your scope.
- Securing personal loans is also a potential option for credit holders with a score of 677. You’ll need to consult your potential lender for specifics on their perspective, since oftentimes personal loans above a specific amount are reserved for individuals with higher average credit scores.
- Landing a mortgage is well within your abilities with a credit score of 677. While you won’t likely be able to achieve the lowest available interest rate, and your mortgage might be subject to additional fees, you shouldn’t have trouble securing the mortgage itself.
- Registering for auto insurance also isn’t a problem with a 677 credit score, though you can’t expect to be handed the lowest possible car insurance premiums.
Though financial opportunities might be limited with a credit score of 677, the available options still allow you to secure a mortgage, obtain a personal loan and even land a new credit card when you need one.
How to Improve a 677 Credit Score
Your credit score of 677 is by no means the end of the road. Just as incomplete or missed payments can derail your credit reputation, a history of on-time payments and minimal maintained debt can help further increase your credit score.
Oftentimes, individuals with credit scores around 677 simply need to provide their scores more time to mature, as credit age is one of the main determining factors in the final figure.
If collections agencies are looking to collect on owed debts, make those payments a priority. Collections debts reflect poorly in credit score equations, and will prevent you from achieving the credit score increases you’re looking to see until those payments are finalized.
Regular effort can help you systematically improve your 677 credit score well above its current ranking, until you achieve a score that serves less as a liability, and more as an opportunity to unlock benefits such as increased loan amounts and rewards-based credit cards.
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