Is 620 a Good Credit Score?

620 credit score

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    By Melissa Brock

    (Last Updated – 02/2024)

    A 620 credit score is considered a “fair” score. That means it’s higher than a “poor” score yet lower than a “good” one.

    Your credit score is a three-digit number that summarizes how well you’ve handled debt in the past and how well you currently pay your bills. Put simply, it helps lenders determine how likely you are to repay a loan on time. With a 620 credit score, you will likely qualify for some loans and lines of credit, but you will probably pay more for the privilege.

    Read on to learn more about what a 620 credit score means and the types of loans you can qualify for with a 620 credit score.

    What Does a 620 Credit Score Mean?

    A 620 credit score means you fall into a group of people with a lower credit score than other Americans — as mentioned, it’s a “fair” score, and a bit towards the lower end of that range.

    The average credit score in the U.S. was 715 in the third quarter of 2023. Some lenders choose not to lend to individuals with a 620 credit score, and borrowers with scores in the “good” range typically receive better borrowing terms. Those with a 620 credit score may be considered subprime borrowers, because they have a less than average credit rating.

    There are two scoring systems in the United States: FICO® Score and VantageScore®. FICO and VantageScore both range from 300 to 850.

    To give you some context of where a 620 credit score falls into the mix, the categories and the credit score ranges include:

    •   800 to 850 FICO score: Exceptional

    •   740 to 799 score: Very good

    •   670 to 739: Good

    •   580 to 669: Fair

    •   300 to 579: Poor

    What do FICO and VantageScore use to determine your credit score? They use a mix of factors, including your:

    •   Payment history (your record of on-time payments)

    •   Amount you owe vs. your credit limit

    •   Length of credit history

    •   Credit mix (handling various types of credit well can reflect well on you)

    •   Recent credit applications (fewer can indicate that you are a responsible borrower).

    Now, let’s look at whether you can get a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, or personal loan with a 620 credit score.

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    Can I Get a Credit Card with a 620 Credit Score?

    Yes, you can likely get a credit card with a 620 credit score. However, you may face:

    •   Higher fees

    •   Higher APRs

    •   Fewer rewards

    You can tap into secured or unsecured credit cards with a 620 credit score. Secured credit cards are a type of credit card that requires a cash deposit to serve as collateral. For example, you may put down $500, which will act as your credit limit. When used responsibly, these kinds of cards may help you “graduate” to an unsecured card.

    Unsecured cards don’t require you to put down a deposit. Also, in terms of unsecured cards vs. secured cards, the unsecured ones typically carry better perks, rewards, as well as lower fees and interest rates. But you may need a credit score of 700 or higher to qualify for cards with all the bells and whistles.

    💡 Quick Tip: Fixed-interest-rate personal loans from SoFi make payments easy to track and give you a target payoff date to work toward.

    Can I Get an Auto Loan with a 620 Credit Score?

    Yes, you can usually get an auto loan with a 620 credit score, but it may take some research, and you may not be offered the most favorable terms. Generally, lenders like to see a minimum credit score of 675 to qualify for car financing. Again, the higher your credit score, the less risk you’re perceived as posing to your lender. You may consider building your credit score to get better interest rates and terms.

    What is the process of getting an auto loan? Getting an auto loan involves determining your budget, applying for auto loan preapproval, shopping for your car, and comparing dealership and other offers. Then, finalize your auto loan and begin repaying the loan.

    Can I Get a Mortgage with a 620 Credit Score?

    You’ll typically need a 620 FICO score to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan, so if your other qualifications are solid, you may have offers to compare. Similar to auto loans, however, the credit score requirement depends on your lender. Certain mortgage loans, like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, may allow you to have a lower credit score to qualify.

    Here are a few types of mortgage loans and their credit score requirements:

    •   Conventional mortgage: A conventional mortgage is a loan that a government agency does not insure, or back. As mentioned, you can typically qualify for a conventional loan with a 620 credit score, but remember, other factors, such as your income, come into play.

    •   FHA loans: An FHA loan is backed by the FHA, under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. You can typically borrow an FHA loan with a credit score minimum of 500. What does “backed” mean? The government doesn’t lend directly to you — the federal government insures the loan to protect your lender if you stop your mortgage payments. However, this “backing” allows you to qualify with a lower credit score with a low down payment — as low as 3.5% of the home purchase price.

    •   VA loans: No down-payment VA loans are also backed by a government entity — the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify, you must be a service member, veteran, or qualifying surviving spouse with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to qualify for a VA loan. Most lenders look for a score of 620, but note that they will consider scores as low as 580.

    •   USDA loans: With a 620 credit score, you may have trouble getting a USDA loan guaranteed, or backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You typically need a credit score of at least 640 for this loan, but again, they consider other factors when deciding whether to lend to you. You must also meet certain income criteria and purchase a home in a designated rural area.

    •   Jumbo loans: You will likely not qualify for a jumbo loan, which requires a credit score of 700 to 720 with a 10% to 20% down payment. Jumbo loans exceed the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits of $766,500 for a single-unit property. If you live in a high-cost area like Alaska or Hawaii, the conforming loan limit is $1,149,825 for a single-unit property. The number of units you own can increase the conforming loan limit.

    Can I Get a Personal Loan with a 620 Credit Score?

    You can get a personal loan with just a 600 credit score, but you might not qualify for the best (or lowest) interest rates. A slightly higher credit score of 620 is likely to put you in a comparable position, meaning you may only be offered a higher interest rate and other fees like origination fees.

    You might see what offers are available for a debt consolidation loan, which is a personal loan consumers use to pay off high-interest debt like credit cards. Lenders typically require a minimum credit score between 580 and 680 to qualify for a debt consolidation loan.

    What Else Can You Get with a 620 Credit Score?

    You may have a better chance of qualifying from a store credit card with a lower credit score than what’s required for a regular credit card — a 620 credit score would likely be more than sufficient.

    What is a store credit card? A store credit card allows you to get rewards and perks at that particular retailer, such as saving money or getting free shipping. You may even be able to stretch out your payments without having to pay interest.

    The downside? These cards typically come with high interest rates and the other obvious downside is that you can only use them at one store.

    The Takeaway

    A credit score of 620 is in the “fair” range. You will likely qualify for a number of different types of loans and lines of credit with this score. However, you are likely to be offered higher interest rates and less favorable terms (such as fees). Compare offers to find the best deals, and also consider working to build your credit score over time so you have great access to more affordable credit.

    Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

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    Photo credit: iStock/tolgart

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