On the credit scoring scale of 350 to 850, a 697 credit score is considered good. Although “good” isn’t the highest-scoring tier — “great” and “excellent” are in the top two — you’ll have more financing opportunities available to you than you would at the lower tier of “fair.”
Here’s what you need to know about the difference between credit score tiers.
Fair vs. Good vs. Great Credit Scores: What’s the Difference?
A 697 credit score is 53 points away from a great credit score. Here’s a look at the differences between the adjoining credit score tiers.
Fair vs. good credit advantages
Good credit scores will help you gain access to lower interest rates on loans compared to fair credit scores. You may also be able to qualify for cash back credit cards or even cards offering 0% interest. Plus, you’ll find it easier to get approved to rent an apartment or set up utilities without a deposit.
Good vs. great credit advantages
A great credit score allows you access to credit cards with better rewards, rates and benefits, as well as higher credit limits compared to good credit scores. Lenders will also be willing to offer you better-than-average rates on loans.
What Are the Benefits of a Good Credit Score?
Lenders and creditors view people with good credit scores as potential customers, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get the best offers available.
With a 697 credit score, you won’t have access to any credit card you want, but credit cards with no annual fee, 0% financing and initial bonuses are possibilities.
Airline and hotel credit cards are also available in this credit tier.
You might also be able to score best personal loan rates and 0% auto financing, but the best mortgage rates and insurance premiums are likely still out of your reach at this point.
How Do You Get a 697 Credit Score?
Although a 697 credit score is good, it means that one or more of the components that comprise your credit score may be lacking.
People with 697 credit scores may either have a short or longer credit history.
A person with a longer credit history might have made a few errors along the way, however, such as a couple of missed payments or high credit utilization rates.
Factors of Credit Score Calculation
1. Credit utilization
Your credit utilization is the amount of credit you’re using out of the total amount of credit you have. For example, if you’re carrying a balance of $2,240 on a credit card with an $8,000 limit, your credit utilization is 28%.
The rule of thumb is not to exceed 30 percent of your credit utilization at any one time.
2. Payments On Time
Payment history carries the most weight — 40% — when it comes to your credit score. Just one late payment can cause significant damage to your credit score, stay on your credit record for seven years and derail your progress.
To avoid late payments, sign up for automatic payments. Or set up text or email reminders ahead of payment due dates.
3. Credit Mix
Credit Mix contributes 10% towards your credit score makeup. Different types of credit lenders like to see include auto, mortgage and personal loans, as well as credit cards.
4. Age of credit
Older accounts in good standing show how you’ve managed your debts over time and help lenders more accurately forecast your risk as a borrower.
Plus, a credit report that reflects years of positive history may outweigh any hiccups you might have, such as one late payment in a line of many on-time payments.
5. New Activity/Inquiries
Aim for no more than three hard inquiries within a 24-month period. Hard inquiries occur when a lender or creditor checks your credit in connection with a lending decision, such as if you’ve applied for a loan or credit card. Checking your own credit doesn’t affect your scores.
Where to Go From Here
Now that you know where you stand with a 697 credit score, you’ll want to monitor your credit reports and scores regularly.
Consider signing up for a product that provides this type of data to make it easier. What do you think?