How Good Is a Credit Score of 790?

FT Contributor

It’s natural to wonder where your credit score ranks within the context of all available credit scores. After all, your credit score is one of the main factors in determining how and when you can pursue financial opportunities.

Whether you’re looking to secure a home mortgage, open a new credit card or simply secure personal or professional loans at lower annual interest rates, it’s important to understand both your credit score and all the factors that determine it.

Credit reporting company Experian issues credit reports for hundreds of millions of consumers every year. Experian relies on the FICO credit score system, which is used across the world to help lenders rank a potential borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay debts.

One of the three major credit bureaus that informs the safe-for-use credit report service, Experian segments credit scores into categories of Very Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Exceptional/Excellent.

Your credit score of 790 officially ranks as a Very Good score, indicating high credit health and adherence to disciplined credit spending.

A credit score of 790 is only 10 points from the highest official credit score ranking — Exceptional/Excellent. Continuing to fulfill disciplined loan repayment habits could mean your 790 credit score will soon break into this top tier.

Table of Contents

Why Your Credit Score Is 790

While factors like payment history and overall debt can affect final credit ranking, it’s impossible to determine the exact cause of a credit score increase or decrease. See the below details for a few common credit score influences.

Regular Credit Payment Habits

A credit score of 790 is more likely to be the intentional, disciplined score of a seasoned spender than it is the random result of an individual who lucked into a high ranking. And making regular payments toward your credit card statements or loan balances is one of the quickest ways to ensure that your credit score remains high and unblemished.

As an experienced borrower, you understand that in addition to making regular payments toward outstanding debts, you also need to achieve and maintain a healthy ratio between paying old debt and acquiring new debt.

No matter your monthly income, old debt will never be paid off — and will therefore accrue interest and lower your credit score — if each month you generate more new debt than satisfy the old debt.

Regular payments toward your statement, in addition to disciplined spending habits, ensure a high credit score and a healthy approach toward long-term financial management overall.

Low Overall Owed Debt

Understandably, your balance might be high immediately after a loan or sizable credit purchase. However, in prioritizing these high statements you’re working toward satisfying a major part of the credit score equation: overall owed debt.

Look to pay off debts and loans as soon as it is financially responsible for you to do so, and certainly try to have balances at a minimum before they begin to accrue additional interest.

Individuals with more overall owed debt are typically trying to balance multiple lines of credit, and have several hard inquiries on their account in the past year. Hard inquiries are quick checks performed by a prospective lender, credit union, or any other financial institution considering you for a loan or new line of credit.  

Hard inquiries stay on your financial record for 365 days to indicate your activity to other potential lenders. In general, there’s a positive relationship between minimal hard inquiries and low overall owed debt.

Matured Credit Age

Another one of the factors that majorly influence your overall credit score, credit age is a sign of a seasoned borrower and typically has a positive correlation with your overall credit score.

With a credit score of 790, there’s certainly a high chance that you have held active credit accounts for quite some time, and have been directly or indirectly working to improve your credit score for months or years.

What Can You Do With a 790 Credit Score?

With an account that exhibits the positive signs of a Very Good credit score, you’ve officially opened yourself up to earn the benefits of increased financial opportunity. A credit score of 790, while not yet the perfect 850 you’re striving for, is a solid step in the right direction.

Potential lenders, credit card companies, and financial institutions will take notice. Here are some specifics on the opportunities a 790 credit score allows you to pursue:

  • Rewards-based credit cards are available to you with a credit score of 790.
    • Whether you’re looking for a credit card that offers interest-free financing, hotel and restaurant points, frequent flyer miles, or extensive cash-back options, the best rewards-based credit cards offer heavy incentives for nearly all transactions.
  • Property mortgages should be a cinch to secure with a credit score of 790.
    • While you might not be able to secure the lowest possible interest rates available to individuals with Exceptional/Excellent credit scores, you’ll be able to obtain expedited mortgages from high-quality lenders.
  • Personal loans are easy to streamline — potentially at the lowest possible interest rates — with a credit score of 790.
    • Whether you intend to purpose your loan for a wedding, home renovation, or any other personal project, personal loans are secured without issue with a 790 credit score.

A very good credit score of 790 helps you spend your money as you please, whether that means a new credit card or a streamlined mortgage. And when your credit score increases by another 10 points to a total of 800 and officially rate as Exceptional, you’ll be able to enjoy an even wider range of potential benefits.

How to Improve a 790 Credit Score

Improving your credit score typically allows you to enjoy improved loan quality and higher loan amounts at reduced fees, while regressions in your credit score can make it even more difficult to take life steps or simply open new lines of credit.

Even with a Very Good credit score of 790 — only 10 points from an Exceptional/Excellent score at or above 800 — there are certainly steps you can take to further improve your ranking.

Namely, pay down remaining debts, even if remaining debts seem negligible. In addition, look to reduce overall credit utilization wherever possible. Even though your credit ceiling might seem temptingly high, individuals who maintain higher credit scores tend to also maintain lower overall credit utilization. Using a lower percentage of available credit can improve credit scores over time.

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