If you have serious financial goals on the mind, then there’s a good chance you’ve thought about your credit recently. But have you thought about the range your credit score falls into, and not just the score itself?
You should. In fact, your credit score range might be even more important than your score. Here’s why.
What Are Credit Score Ranges?
Credit score ranges are just what they sound like. They’re a grouping that your score falls into – kind of like grades – and they can help you get an idea of where you stand overall. Below are the ranges of the two most popular credit scores (FICO® and VantageScore®):
FICO® Credit Score Ranges
|FICO® Score||FICO® Score Range|
VantageScore® Credit Score Ranges
|VantageScore® 3.0 and VantageScore® 4.0||VantageScore® Credit Tier|
So why should you care? Because you don’t have just one credit score. You have many credit scores.
Why Credit Score Ranges May Matter More Than Your Score
It’s a commonly held belief that we all have one credit report and one credit score. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
- There are two popular credit scoring companies, so off the bat that removes the possibility of having just one score.
- Each credit scoring company has various versions of its score, including updated scores and industry-specific scores, after which it’s easy to accumulate 30 or even 40 scores (even more when you count custom scoring models).
- There are three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), so that means we all also have three credit reports. Though it’s important to note that credit reports are not credit scores, and credit scores do not show up on your credit report.
What this all means is that there may not be a whole lot of reason to focus on just one credit score when you have so many scores, all of which can vary quite a bit. Rather, knowing what range your scores fall into gives you a much clearer picture of how you’re doing and what lenders might think of you as a potential borrower. If you try to just focus on one credit score — whatever version of your score you can see — then you could stress yourself out over a number that isn’t even necessarily the same as what lenders might see.
What You Can Do About the Ranges Your Scores Fall In
The next time you check your credit score, take note of the range it falls into. It’s likely that your other scores are in that range or the next one up or down. And if you don’t like where you stand, you can fix it. Just follow these steps to improve your credit scores, and thus the overall range or ranges they fall into.
Then you’ll be closer to whatever’s on your financial wishlist.
FREE TOOL: Are mistakes on your credit report hurting your credit score? Find out here.