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

Written by
Beverly Blair Harzog
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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.

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