Is 688 a Good Credit Score?

688 credit score

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    By Austin Kilham

    (Last Updated – 03/2024)

    If you’ve got a credit score of 688, that puts you squarely in the “good” range, which is defined as between 670 and 739, according to FICO®, the most commonly used credit scoring company.

    A good score means that as you seek loans or other lines of credit, you will likely have an array of options available to you. That said, you still may not qualify for the best interest rates available.

    Here’s a closer look at what a 688 FICO score could mean for you and your ability to secure different forms of credit.

    What Does a 688 Credit Score Mean?

    Most people in the U.S. have a credit score of about 715 on average. So with a credit score of 688, you are in good shape, but there’s still room for improvement. Credit scores as compiled by the credit bureaus range from 300 to 850.

    The level of scores above yours would be “very good,” or between 740 and 799. Anything higher (800 to 850) is considered to be in the exceptional credit score range.

    Here’s another way of looking at your FICO score: With a 688 credit score, you are considered a “prime” borrower, which means that lenders typically believe you’re likely to pay your bills responsibly. And that can translate to more lending options.

    💡 Quick Tip: Some personal loan lenders can release your funds as quickly as the same day your loan is approved.

    How Do Lenders Use Your Credit Score?

    You can think of your credit score as a numerical representation of your credit history. It takes several factors into account , including length of credit history, whether you pay your bills on time, how much you currently owe, how many different types of accounts you maintain, and whether you’re actively seeking new credit.

    When you apply for credit, lenders look closely at your score to determine your creditworthiness.

    •   They equate higher scores with less risk, since higher scores suggest an individual has been responsible with their credit in the past.

    •   As a result, lenders are more likely to offer borrowers with higher scores a loan and lower interest rates.

    •   Lenders typically view borrowers with low scores as more risky. They worry that these individuals may be more likely to default on a loan, failing to pay them off entirely.

    •   Because default is costly for the lenders (in terms of time and money), they usually offer individuals with lower scores credit with higher interest rates and fees to offset their risk. This, in turn, makes borrowing more costly.

    What Can You Get with a 688 Credit Score?

    With a credit score of 688, you may qualify for a wide range of credit and loan products. Here is a closer look at what you may expect.

    Can I Get a Credit Card with a 688 Credit Score?

    A good credit score of 688 will help you qualify for a credit card. You will likely have a variety of offers to consider, but it’s worth noting that the best ones (say, those with lower interest rates and more credit card rewards) often go to those with a score of 700 or higher.

    Use that credit card wisely and you could continue to increase your credit score. However, credit cards can put you into tricky financial situations.

    •   Credit cards are a form of revolving credit that allow you to carry balance from month to month. They typically charge very high interest rates for this ability — around 20% or higher on average.

    •   If you pay your bill off every month, you can avoid interest payments. However, if you fall behind and carry a balance, you’ll owe interest.

    •   Credit card interest compounds. If your balance extends for multiple months, you’ll begin to owe interest on the interest you’ve already accrued, causing your debt to grow.

    💡 Quick Tip: With low interest rates compared to credit cards, a personal loan for credit card consolidation can substantially lower your payments.

    Can I Get an Auto Loan with a 688 Credit Score?

    There are no minimum scores for auto loans, but with a score of 688, you’re likely to qualify for one. In fact, prime borrowers received the bulk of new auto loans in 2023, with 45.90% of new loans going to them. Compare that to 12.67% for subprime borrowers with lower credit scores.

    Prime borrowers also had access to relatively low interest rates in 2023, paying 6.88% in interest on average. That’s quite a bit better than subprime borrowers, who were charged 11.86% on average.

    Raising your credit score could help you qualify for lower rates.

    Can I Get a Mortgage with a 688 Credit Score?

    A credit score of 688 provides several options when it comes to mortgage loans.

    •  You may qualify for most conventional loans, which are not guaranteed by the federal government and typically require a credit score of 620 or higher.

    •   You may also qualify for government-backed loans, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which typically require a score of 580 with a 3.5% down payment. Those who put 10% down can often qualify with a lower score.

    •   If you’ve been in the armed forces, you may qualify for a VA loan offered through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which also usually requires a credit score of 580 to qualify.

    •   For a USDA loan (another government-backed loan), the credit score requirement is usually 620. So, with a 688 FICO score, you would be in good shape on that qualification.

    •   Jumbo loans (which are larger in size than conventional loans) typically require a higher credit score, 700 or above, for access.

    Can I Get a Personal Loan with a 688 Credit Score?

    A personal loan is a lump sum payment with few restrictions on use that you agree to pay back in monthly installments with interest. Personal loans could be used for credit card consolidation, home renovations, a family vacation, or medical bills.

    Borrowers with a credit score of 688 will likely qualify for a personal loan. And personal loans may be cheaper options than other forms of credit. Consider that the average personal loan interest rate is currently about 12%, compared to about 20% or higher still for credit cards.

    The lowest interest rates on personal loans will usually go to those with the highest credit scores.

    The Takeaway

    A 688 credit score falls into the “good” range of score. Lenders may offer you a full range of loans (such as car loans, a mortgage, and a personal loan) and lines of credit, such as a credit card. However, you may not get the lowest interest rates and most affordable terms, as those are reserved for borrowers with very good and/or exceptional 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.

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

    View your rate

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