Top Benefits of a Good Credit Score
A high credit score may help you secure lower rates when financing a large purchase.
When applying for a loan, opening a new credit card account, or buying a house, your credit score holds a lot of sway. This number represents your financial habits to lenders and other parties and credit scores often open doors to a variety of benefits.
Let’s take a look at some common benefits you may see with a high credit score.
High credit scores show prospective lenders and credit card issuers that you’re financially responsible.
You could increase your credit score over time by paying your bills on time, paying off what you owe, and monitoring your credit report for errors.
Great credit scores may make borrowing money cheaper by helping you get lower rates on loans and credit cards.
What’s a Good Credit Score?
What counts as a good credit score depends on the scoring model you’re looking at and the lender you’re working with.
FICO considers scores between 670 and 739 to be good, and anything over 739 is considered very good or excellent.¹ VantageScore considers scores between 661 and 780 to be good with anything higher than 781 being excellent.²
In addition to the different scoring bands set by FICO and VantageScore, individual lenders are allowed to set their own credit score requirements. What one lender considers an excellent credit score, another may just consider good.
What Can You Do with Good Credit?
Good credit scores don’t just show prospective lenders that you’re a responsible person and able to manage your finances. They may open several doors that you may otherwise not have access to.
Here are some common advantages high scorers may experience.
Higher Likelihood of Approval
Lenders use your credit score as a way to gauge whether you’re a risky borrower. A higher credit score usually indicates lower risk and may make you more likely to be approved for a loan or new credit account.
Qualify for Lower Rates
A high credit score may also result in access to lower rates on credit cards and loans. Those lower rates mean you could save on interest over the life of your loan.
What does that look like in real life? Let’s take a look at average personal loan rates by credit score:³
Average Personal Loan Rates*
720 – 850
10.73% – 12.50% APR
690 – 719
13.50% – 15.50% APR
630 – 689
17.80% – 19.90% APR
300 – 629
28.50% – 32.00% APR
* Rates as of December 13, 2023
Receive Higher Credit Limits
Higher credit scores often show lenders and credit card issuers that you’re financially responsible and likely to be able to make your payments on time. For this reason, lenders typically offer you higher credit limits or loan amounts because you’re considered a less risky borrower.
Access Prescreened Offers
Credit card issuers often want to work with individuals with high credit scores and may send out pre-screened offers with unique benefits and rewards to entice those individuals to apply. To identify candidates, credit card issuers often perform soft credit inquiries which allows them to see your credit score without causing it to drop.
If your score meets their criteria, they send you a prescreened offer which may include benefits like 0% APR for a set time period or bonus miles or cash back if you purchase a certain amount.
If you apply for the offer, the card issuer then performs a hard inquiry before issuing the card. Hard inquiries may impact your credit score, but your score usually rebounds quickly if you continue making smart financial choices.
Secure Better Insurance Rates
Believe it or not, your credit score may also impact the rates you receive on your car and home insurance. Since your score provides a snapshot of whether you’re financially responsible, insurance companies may look at it before giving you an offer. When it’s high, they may reward you with lower premiums.
Insurance companies may also check your score when you’re an existing customer. This could impact decisions to raise or lower your premiums when renewing your coverage.⁴
Appear Responsible to Potential Employers
In some industries, employers check your credit report as part of their background check process. Doing so may help them make hiring decisions for certain jobs, such as managerial roles or cash-handling positions.
While your credit report doesn’t show your credit score, it could give employers a better understanding of your financial behaviors because it notes if you haven’t made on-time payments or have any derogatory marks, such as foreclosures or bankruptcies. (Note that these types of marks appear on your report for different periods of time.)
Ways to Achieve a High Credit Score
Curious about ways to boost your score? Here are a few simple ways that may get your score up:
Pay Bills on Time: Paying bills on time shows that you’re financially responsible and establishes a positive history with the credit bureaus. This is also one of the largest factors used when calculating your credit score.
Check Your Report for Errors: Get in the habit of reviewing your credit report at least once a year for errors like the same debts appearing more than once, incorrect credit limits posted for your credit card, or accounts in your name that you didn’t open. Report those errors as soon as you find them.⁵
Apply for New Credit Intentionally: Applying for new loans and credit cards means a hard inquiry which could lead to a temporary dip in your score and applying for a lot of credit at the same time may ultimately be a red flag for creditors. So, being intentional about those hard credit pulls is important.
Diversify Your Credit Mix: Your credit score takes into consideration the types of credit you have. When possible, try to have a mix of loans and credit cards to establish a diverse credit mix.
These simple steps may help you boost your score over time. For tips specific to your financial situation, consult with a financial advisor.
Having a high credit score may make qualifying for loans and credit cards or purchasing a new home easier and more affordable.
Remember that a high credit score is just one part of your financial well-being journey. Check out our achieving financial wellness guide for tips on other ways to set your finances up for success.