A few years ago, your 680 FICO score would have let you skid into the "very good" to "excellent" range. In today's post-recession lending market, however, that 680 lands you smack in the middle of plain old "good." Let it slide below 660, and you'll only qualify for fair credit credit cards.
Each lender makes its own definitions for "good" and "fair," however. For instance, a 680 credit score without a lot of available income won't get you far with issuers like Chase or American Express. On the other hand, positive cash flow and stability on your credit report can inspire lenders to take a chance on you. Some of the cards you'll want to investigate include:
- Capital One Cash. Capital One complements your credit score with information from its own consumer database when you complete a credit card application. If you don't qualify for Capital One's very best offer, the bank's system will suggest one or two similar deals, usually with higher annual fees or finance charges. However, you can request credit line increases or new features once you've established a solid payment history with the bank.
- Discover More Card. Discover Financial Services made a major leap into the student loan marketplace over the last few years, giving the lender insight into how younger consumers earn, save, and spend their money. Even if you don't qualify for one of Discover's student credit cards, your score may be enough to help you land a starter account with a credit limit that will increase over time.
- Citi Forward Card. After shying away from fair credit credit cards for a few years, Citi's shareholders pressured the bank into loosening its underwriting guidelines. The bank designed Citi Forward for students and other young consumers as a rewards credit card with incentives for managing money wisely.
If your score's on the bubble, visit our newly revived CardRatings Forum, where other readers share their success stories about getting approved for the credit cards they want.
- My credit score is 743. Every time I apply for a credit card I'm denied. I'm told I have too many balances on cards. I have two credit cards only totaling less than $2,000. I'm not sure what the problem is. I own a home, I make $85,000 on my own and I also have income coming in from my husband. What am I to do? Good credit, almost no credit cards, and I'm never late with anything. Any suggestions?
- Can I include my spouse's income on a credit card application?
- Do you need a job for a credit card?