650 Credit Score: Is It Good or Bad? - NerdWallet (2024)

A 650 credit score is considered fair. Your score helps lenders decide whether you qualify for products like credit cards and loans, and what interest rate you should pay.

The share of Americans with a score below 650 was 24% as of April 2023, according to credit scoring company FICO. A 650 credit score is not considered "bad" by both FICO and its competitor VantageScore. Generally speaking, scores below 630 fall into the bad range.

Here’s how a 650 credit score can affect your financial life.

With a 650 score, you may pay higher rates than others

As someone with a 650 credit score, you are firmly in the “fair” territory of credit. You can usually qualify for financial products like a mortgage or car loan, but you will likely pay higher interest rates than someone with a better credit score. The "good" credit range starts at 690.

Fortunately, there are quick ways to pump up your score to get better rates. Here are a few ways to build your credit to where you want it to be.

Ways to beef up your 650 credit score

Credit scores change often based on your activity, so your 650 score can go up. Here are some tools you can use to build credit:

  • Take your good credit habits to the next level: Pay all your bills on time and try to use no more than 30% of the credit limit on all your credit cards. Those are the two biggest factors affecting your credit score. The less you use of your available credit, the better it is for your score. Opening a new credit card that's used for one small recurring purchase can also help, just make sure to research eligibility requirements before applying.

  • Apply for a secured credit card, a type of card that's backed by a cash deposit.

  • Visit your local credit union to get a credit-builder loan or secured loan. A credit-builder loan allows you to build your score and save up some money at the same time.

  • Ask a family member or friend with a high credit score and long credit history to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. That gives you an additional line of credit on your credit report.

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650 Credit Score: Is It Good or Bad? - NerdWallet (2)

650 Credit Score: Is It Good or Bad? - NerdWallet (2024)
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