Is 661 a Good Credit Score?

661 credit score

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    By Melissa Brock

    (Last Updated – 05/2024)

    A 661 is not a good credit score, but it’s not necessarily a bad one either. It’s considered “fair,” which means you represent a moderate risk to lenders. With a 661 score, you can still qualify for loans and credit cards. but you may face higher interest rates and less favorable loan terms than borrowers with “good” or better credit.

    Read on for a closer look at how your credit rating compares to the average borrower in the U.S., plus what kinds of mortgages, car loans, personal loans, and credit cards you may be able to get with a 661 credit score.

    What Does a 661 Credit Score Mean?

    To understand what a 661 credit score means, it helps to understand how credit scores work and the difference between FICO vs. other credit scores.

    Lenders use credit scores — which typically range between 300 and 850 — to determine how likely a borrower is to make on-time payments on their debts. Your credit score is based on information contained in your credit reports, which detail your history managing and repaying debt, including credit cards, loans, and other bills.

    You have three credit reports, one each from the three credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You also have multiple credit scores, not just one. That’s because scores can be calculated using different scoring models, such as FICO®, VantageScore®, or a lender’s own proprietary algorithm.

    The most widely used credit scores, however, are FICO scores. Here’s a look at the credit score ranges and what they mean according to FICO.

    FICO Score Range



    Less than 580 Poor These scores sit far below the average credit score (715), demonstrating that you pose a risk to lenders.
    580-669 Fair These credit scores are below the average credit score, though many lenders approve loans in this range.
    670-739 Good These scores are at or above the average U.S. credit score.
    740-799 Very good These scores are above the average credit score, demonstrating your dependability as a borrower.
    800+ Excellent These scores are well above the average score and clearly demonstrate that you’re a reliable borrower.

    What Can You Get with a 661 Credit Score?

    A fair credit score means that you have a 28% statistical likelihood of becoming seriously delinquent on a loan or credit card in the future. While some lenders may decide not to lend to you, you can likely get a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, or personal loan with a 661 credit score. Let’s look into your potential opportunities for each.

    Can I Get a Credit Card with a 661 Credit Score?

    With a credit score of 661, you can likely qualify for a credit card, but your options may be limited. You can probably get a traditional (i.e., unsecured) credit card with a relatively high interest rate and a low credit limit. You’ll have an easier time getting a secured credit card. Here’s a look at the difference between secured vs, unsecured credit cards.

    •   Unsecured credit cards: Unsecured credit cards don’t require a security deposit and generally offer better perks and rewards, and lower fees and interest rates, than secured cards. Unsecured credit cards typically require a credit score of 550 to 750. You’ll need to be in the upper end of that range to qualify for the best rates and top rewards credit cards.

    •   Secured credit cards: Secured credit cards require you to make a cash deposit — usually equal to your credit limit — when you open the account. The money then acts as collateral every time you make a purchase. This lowers the risk to the lender because if you don’t pay your bill, they can recoup their losses from your deposit. Many secured credit cards don’t require a credit check.

    Can I Get an Auto Loan with a 661 Credit Score?

    Yes, it’s possible to get an auto loan with a credit score of 661. While you may not qualify for the most favorable rates, you should still be able to find lenders willing to work with you. Keep in mind, though, that lenders will likely look at more than just your credit score. Other factors — such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, and a lender’s specific requirements — play a role in determining whether you can qualify for auto financing and at what rate and terms.

    It’s a good idea to shop around and compare offers from different lenders to find the best deal. You may find that making a larger down payment or opting for a shorter loan term can help mitigate the impact of a fair credit score.

    Can I Get a Mortgage with a 661 Credit Score?

    Yes, you can generally get a mortgage and buy a house with a 661 credit score. In fact, you can likely qualify for a variety of different types of mortgages, though probably not a jumbo loan. Here’s a look at common kinds of mortgage loans and the minimum credit score you might need for each one.

    Conventional loan: A conventional loan is any mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the government. These loans typically require a 620 minimum credit score.

    •   Jumbo loan: A jumbo loan is a loan that goes beyond the limits of those set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency ($766,550), and can go as high as $1,149,825 in high-cost areas. These loans typically require a 700 minimum credit score.

    •   FHA loan: An FHA loan is a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loans protect the lender against losses if you were to stop making payments on your loan. When you put 10% down for an FHA loan, you’ll need to meet a 500 minimum credit score.

    •   VA loan: The Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA loans and sets the requirements for service members, veterans, and eligible spouses. You’ll need to have a 620 minimum credit score for a VA loan.

    •   USDA loans: A USDA loan is a no-down payment loan backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help first-time homebuyers purchase homes in rural or suburban areas. This type of loan requires a minimum 640 credit score.

    Can I Get a Personal Loan with a 661 Credit Score?

    Yes, it’s possible to get a personal loan with a credit score of 661. However, your credit score is just one factor that lenders consider when evaluating your loan application. Other things, such as your income, employment history, and debt-to-income ratio will also play a role in the lender’s decision and the terms of the personal loan.

    With a credit score of 661, you may not qualify for the most favorable personal loan rates or terms, but there are lenders who specialize in working with individuals with fair credit. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare offers from different lenders to find the best option for your financial situation. Keep in mind that some lenders may require collateral or a cosigner if your credit score is “fair” or lower.

    Once you qualify, a personal loan provides a lump sum of cash up front that can be used for virtually any purpose, including credit card consolidation, home improvements, and large purchases.


    A 661 credit score is neither good nor bad, but generally considered fair by lenders. You can get a credit card and different types of loans with this credit score, but you may not get the best interest rates and loan terms.

    Fortunately, you’re not far off from FICO’s “good” credit rating (670-739). Taking some simple steps — like making on-time credit payments, catching up on past-due accounts, and paying down revolving account balances — can help improve your credit profile and allow you to access lending products with lower rates in the future.

    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.

    SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.

    View your rate

    Photo credit: iStock/MilanMarkovic

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