Is 640 a Good Credit Score?

640 credit score

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    By Melissa Brock

    (Last Updated – 02/2024)

    A 640 credit score isn’t exactly good or bad: It is classified as “fair” on the popular FICO® Score scale. It’s not a “good” credit score, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach some of your financial goals with a 640 score.

    This three-digit number reflects a moderate degree of creditworthiness, or how well you handled debt and bills currently and in the past. Lenders use credit scores to determine whether they should grant you a loan and at what rate and with which terms. Given that the average credit score in the U.S. is currently 718, you can see that a 640 falls below the norm.

    Read on for the definition of a 640 credit score, what it means, and what you can get in terms of loans and lines of credit.

    What Does a 640 Credit Score Mean?

    A 640 credit score means your score falls within the “fair” category — 580 to 669. It’s below the average credit score that most Americans have.

    Credit scores fall in a credit score range from 300 to 850 in the most popular Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) model. Here’s how these numbers stack up:

    •   Exceptional: 800 – 850

    •   Very Good: 740 – 799

    •   Good: 670 – 739

    •   Fair: 580 – 669

    •   Poor: 300 – 579

    FICO scores consider different aspects of your credit and have different weights attributed to various items:

    •   Payment history (35%)

    •   Credit utilization (the amount you owe) (30%)

    •   Length of credit history (15%)

    •   Mix of credit accounts (10%)

    •   New credit accounts (10%)

    Some lenders may see your credit score and decide you have unfavorable credit. In the end, they may decline your credit application. If they accept your application, they may charge you a higher interest rate to compensate for the lower credit score.

    Here’s another question you may wonder about: Is 640 a bad credit score?

    No, it’s not.

    Learn more: What’s the difference between FICO vs. credit score?

    💡 Quick Tip: A low-interest personal loan from SoFi can help you consolidate your debts, lower your monthly payments, and get you out of debt sooner.

    What Can You Get with a 640 Credit Score?

    So, what can you qualify for with a 640 credit score? It’s a great question because when you think about the basic things you might need, many of them — homes, cars, and buying power — require credit to get.

    However, it’s not just loans and lines of credit that may use your credit score as a qualifying factor. Landlords may look at your score when you apply to rent a property, and utility companies may check your three digits as well when deciding whether to charge you for equipment (such as cable boxes). A higher credit score (say, one firmly in the good or very good category or higher) could help you in these regards.

    Can I Get a Credit Card with a 640 Credit Score?

    Yes, you may be able to get a credit card with a 640 credit score. However, your 640 credit score could make it difficult for you to get approved for credit cards with favorable interest rates and perks. Typically, credit card issuers look for scores of 670 or higher.

    A secured credit card could make it possible for you to qualify if you don’t get approved or are trying to build your credit. A secured credit card is one in which you must put a security deposit to open the account. Cardholders make a one-time, refundable deposit that acts as collateral for the card. For some people, using a secured credit card responsibly can be a stepping stone to having an unsecured card.

    💡 Quick Tip: Swap high-interest debt for a lower-interest loan, and save money on your monthly payments. Find out why SoFi credit card consolidation loans are so popular.

    Can I Get an Auto Loan with a 640 Credit Score?

    Those with a 640 credit score may find it hard to get a car loan or to get one with an affordable interest rate. Typically, those go to borrowers with credit scores of 675 or higher.

    If you are finding it challenging to get a car loan, you might consider putting down a higher down payment or adding a cosigner.

    Can I Get a Mortgage with a 640 Credit Score?

    Yes, you can get a mortgage loan to purchase a home with a 640 credit score. Let’s look at a few different home loan types and a rundown of each:

    •   Conventional mortgage: A conventional mortgage is a loan not backed by a government agency. You can typically qualify for a conventional loan with a 620 credit score — so you should be in the clear with a 640, but remember that other factors come into the equation, such as your income. You will also need to put down a down payment and have enough to cover closing costs.

    Those with higher credit scores (say, 740 and up) may be able to put down less than those with lower scores and also score lower interest rates since they are seen as less risky borrowers. Other factors, such as income history, job stability, and debt-to-income ratio may also have an impact on whether you are approved and with which terms.

    •   FHA loans: FHA loans vs. conventional loans are backed by the federal government, specifically the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). What does “backed” mean? It means the federal government insures the loan to protect your lender if you quit making your mortgage payments. FHA loans often allow you to borrow with a credit score minimum of 500 and a lower down payment option. You can roll closing costs into your loan.

    •   VA loans: VA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify, you must be a service member, veteran, or qualifying surviving spouse. Most lenders look for a score of 620 (though some may accept 580), so you can likely get one with a 640 credit score. They do not require a down payment, but you must have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to qualify for a VA loan.

    •   USDA loans: The U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees USDA loans. You typically need a credit score of at least 640, so you’re in the right credit score neighborhood. You must also meet certain income criteria and purchase a home in a designated rural area.

    •   Jumbo loans: This is the only loan you may not qualify for. They typically require you to have a higher credit score, typically 700 to 720 or higher, with a 10% to 20% down payment in order to qualify for these larger loans.

    Jumbo loans exceed the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits. In 2024, the conforming loan limit is $766,500 unless you live in a high-cost area like Alaska or Hawaii, where the conforming loan limit is $1,149,825 for a single-unit property. The number increases depending on the number of units you own.

    Are you unsure which type of mortgage fits you? Talk to a lender to learn more about the route you should go based on your score and other qualifications.

    Can I Get a Personal Loan with a 640 Credit Score?

    Yes, you should be able to get a personal loan with a 640 credit score. You can compare rates from a few different lenders, particularly through a local bank, credit union, or online lender.

    Getting prequalified for a personal loan type can help you determine the interest rate you’ll qualify for. If you’re unsatisfied with the interest rate, you may consider cosigning with someone with a higher credit score than you.

    The Takeaway

    A 640 credit score is neither good nor bad. It is considered “fair” according to credit score ratings. While you may qualify for credit cards, other lines of credit, and loans, you likely won’t get the most favorable rates or perks. Building your score through diligent on-time payments and management of your credit utilization may help you snag better terms.

    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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