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My FICO score is 703. Does this qualify as excellent credit?

By , CardRatings Contributor

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Question: My FICO score is 703. Does this qualify as excellent credit?

Answer: A few years ago, a credit score of 703 carried more clout than it does right now. Today, an excellent credit score is a little higher and is usually defined as 750-850. Some credit card issuers might still consider a credit score as low 720 to be excellent, but most issuers have raised the bar to 750.

But a 703 FICO score does put you in the "good credit" category. The range for a good credit score is generally 700-749, so your 703 barely makes the cut. Since you're barely in the good category, take care not to do things that might drop your score below 700. For instance, if you plan to apply for a loan or mortgage anytime soon, don't apply for new credit cards in the near future. Every time you apply for a card and an issuer looks at your credit report, this is called a "hard inquiry." A hard inquiry can lower your score a few points. A few points doesn't sound like much, but since you're living on the edge of good credit, it can make a huge difference in your ability to get a good interest rate.

If your goal is to end up in the land of excellent credit scores, then good for you. It will take some time, but you're not that far away. Make sure you pay your bills on time. And not just your credit card bills, but every bill you receive. As I said before, don't open new accounts unless it's absolutely necessary. And don't close accounts, either, while you're trying to increase your score. In most cases, closing an account can lower your score because it lowers your utilization ratio, which compares the amount of credit card debt you have to the amount of available credit.

4 Comments

  1. Cosmo September 16, 2017 - 3:03 pm
    It seems like anything you do, other than pay your bills on time, at least has the potential for, if not the likelihood of, lowering your credit score. Apply for credit? Lower score. Don't apply for credit? Lower score. Have a mortgage? lower score. Don't have a mortgage? Lower score. Get married? Lower score. Stay single? Lower score. I don't worry about it anymore because it's all a scam. I had to freeze my credit reports anyway because my data was hacked from entities too big to fail. We're too small to matter.
      Reply »  
    1. Brooklyn Lowery September 22, 2017 - 9:23 pm
      I understand your frustration. It can seem like a "no-win" situation sometimes. I would encourage you to think about your credit score less as a series of individual moves/not moves and more as a marker of your long-term credit personality/health. Generally, as long as you're making good credit decisions overall -- paying bills on time, keeping a good mix of accounts open for a long time, keeping your credit utilization ratio in check, etc. -- your credit score should bounce back pretty quickly from any incremental drops related to the things you mentioned (opening a new account, getting married, etc.).
        Reply »  
  2. RRT1997 August 17, 2015 - 5:00 pm
    I checked on ONE payday loan interest rate but found on my credit report that DOZENS of payday loan company's have, without my knowledge or permission checked into my credit scores. Evidently if you are curious about loan interest rates your email server, via search engine, gives access to you name, etc. to dozens of payday loan companies. I find this troubling. My search engine, Yahoo, gave dozens of payday loan "outfits" my identity even though I never contacted them or inquired about them. Once these "outfits" had my identity they, without my knowledge or permission, gained access into my credit scores. These were all documented on my credit report. Something I never authorized to anyone.
      Reply »  
  3. Roger August 24, 2013 - 6:54 pm
    who really knows what constitutes a good credit score. The powers that be have made it so complicated I don't think they understand it themselves.
      Reply »  
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