When you are considering whether or not your credit score is ‘good enough’, you need to take into account the changes in the financial industry that have recently taken place. Since the near-collapse of the housing market and the changes in the credit card industry, lenders and creditors are a lot more careful about their risks when passing out money.
This article is appropriate advice for credit scores of 709, 708, 707, and 706.
Changes in Credit Scoring
Credit bureaus collect information from creditors about consumers and then use a complex calculation based on payment history, length of credit, and other factors to develop a three-digit credit score. Creditors will use the score in their approval consideration because it acts as a reflection of how financially reliable a consumer is.
In the past, a ‘good’ credit score was considered to be anything above 700. These days however, the financial industry as a whole, have upped their requirements and no longer consider 700 to be as good as it once was. They want to see scores ranging from 730 and higher before offering the best interest rates and the most options for financing. A credit score of 710 is likely acceptable to most lenders, and you are not likely to be denied credit when you apply – but it may not tip the scales in our favor when it comes to receiving the absolute lowest interest rates on mortgages and loans.
Improving and Maintaining a 710 Credit Score
The most important thing you can do is to stay on top of your credit by requesting copies of your credit report which you can do for free one time each year or for up to 60 days after you have been denied credit. At other times, you can get a copy of your reports for a small fee.
Your credit score will also cost you small fee, usually about $15, if you want to obtain the FICO credit score. The FICO credit score is the most commonly used by lenders, but you can access other credit scoring models for free through TransUnion or Experian credit reporting agencies. Accessing both your credit report and your physical credit score will show you not only where you stand but will give you the critical information necessary to repair and improve your credit.
Start by reviewing your information. Since the data being reported and collected about you has a human element, there is always the chance for human error which can impact your credit score. Take the time to review your reports line by line for accuracy. File disputes with the credit reporting agency per their protocol as soon as you discover errors. The agency then has an obligation to investigate every dispute it receives. If the information is found to be erroneous, your report will be corrected. This task, as simple as it sounds, can have a significant impact on your credit score but it is important that you follow through and then follow up to ensure the report is corrected accurately.
Fraudulent activity can also be a factor keeping your 710 credit score lower than it should be. By ordering your credit reports and looking over the information carefully, you stand a better chance of discovering identity theft or other fraud than you would otherwise. Having open accounts in your name that are not being paid properly can seriously damage your credit for seven years or more. Any incidents of fraud that are corrected on your credit reports will result in a credit score increase and the sooner fraud is detected and stopped, the easier it is to repair (Find out What is Considered a Good Credit Score Range).