What are bad credit scores?

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Understanding Credit Score Ranges:

Here’s an insightful breakdown of FICO and VantageScore bad credit scores ranges:

  • FICO Model:
    • Exceptional (800-850)
    • Very Good (740-799)
    • Good (670-739)
    • Fair (580-669)
    • Poor (300-579)

    Scores under 580 are considered “poor” in the FICO model.

  • VantageScore Model:
    • Excellent (781-850)
    • Good (661-780)
    • Fair (601-660)
    • Poor (500-600)
    • Very Poor (300-499)

    A VantageScore between 300 and 600 is categorized as “poor” to “very poor.”

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Credit Scores Overview:

A credit score, a numeric reflection of creditworthiness, is derived from various factors, including payment history, credit utilization, credit history length, types of credit, and recent inquiries.

Low Credit Scores Indicate Risk: A lower credit score signals to lenders a potential higher-risk borrower, reflecting past credit behavior and current credit situations. Scores ranging from 300 to 850, higher scores are more favorable.

Factors Impacting Credit Scores:

Several factors contribute to a lower credit score:

  • Late or Missed Payments
  • High Credit Utilization
  • Multiple Credit Applications
  • Having Only New Credit Accounts
  • Lack of Diverse Credit Types
  • Defaults, Foreclosures, Bankruptcies

Improving a Low Credit Score:

Enhancing a low credit score involves strategic steps:

  • Timely Payments
  • Lowering Utilization
  • Limiting New Credit Applications
  • Checking Credit Reports Regularly

Understanding Credit Score Ranges:

Categorizing credit scores into ranges helps in evaluation:

  • Excellent Credit (750 and above)
  • Good Credit (700 to 749)
  • Fair Credit (650 to 699)
  • Poor Credit (600 to 649)
  • Bad Credit (Below 600)

A poor credit score is typically viewed as anything below 580 (FICO) or below 600 (VantageScore).

Characteristics of Poor Credit Scores:

A poor credit score suggests higher risk to lenders, often indicating missed payments, high credit utilization, or limited credit history. Individuals with poor credit may face challenges securing new credit, and if approved, it’s usually at higher interest rates.

Impact on Loan Terms:

Poor credit doesn’t just affect the ability to get credit; it also influences credit terms, including higher interest rates, lower borrowing limits, and more stringent loan conditions.

Security Deposits and Premiums:

Poor credit can lead to requirements for security deposits on utilities and rental agreements, along with higher insurance premiums.

Causes of Poor Credit Scores:

Multiple factors contribute to poor credit scores:

  • Missed or Late Payments
  • High Credit Utilization
  • Defaulting on Loans
  • Bankruptcies
  • Limited Credit History

Improving a Poor Credit Score:

Addressing the factors impacting a poor credit score requires time and consistent financial behavior. By prioritizing timely payments, reducing debt, managing credit utilization, checking credit reports, and minimizing new credit inquiries, gradual improvement is possible.


Remember, improving a poor credit score is a journey that demands commitment and sustained financial discipline. By focusing on key aspects, individuals can work towards achieving a healthier credit profile over time.