What Is A Bad Credit Score?

Hello! Today, I’ve partnered with Lexington Law to help answer the question “What is a bad credit score?“ People who are thinking about giving you a loan and other people who may be looking into your credit score usually have varying opinions about what a bad, good, or excellent credit score may be. In general, a good credit score is…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: July 24, 2018

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What Is A Bad Credit Score?Hello! Today, I’ve partnered with Lexington Law to help answer the question “What is a bad credit score?

People who are thinking about giving you a loan and other people who may be looking into your credit score usually have varying opinions about what a bad, good, or excellent credit score may be.

In general, a good credit score is usually 700+. The higher your number, the better your credit score.

But, what is a bad credit score?

Some may say that a bad credit score is anything that doesn’t get you what you want in life. Others may say that you don’t need credit to survive in life. However, remember, your credit score impacts so many things other than just a loan! Your credit score can impact you getting a job, your insurance rates, whether or not you’ll get even a rental home, and more.

Due to this, knowing your credit score and whether or not you have a bad one is extremely important.

In general, a credit score less than 560 is considered to be a bad credit score. However, also remember that a credit score of 600 isn’t much, much better, and that if you need something in life that involves your credit score, having the highest possible credit score that you can have is usually your best bet.


What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three digit number showing others your creditworthiness, and is often used as an indicator of how risky you are.

There are three main credit bureaus, which is why you may occasionally see different numbers. The main three (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) calculate scores depending on the information they have about you, and your file may be slightly different at each of them.


Is it easy to damage your credit score?

Improving your credit score usually takes a little more work than it does to damage your credit score.

You may be hurting your credit score if:

  • You pay your bills late. 35% of your credit score is from your payment history. One or two late payments most likely won’t prevent you from having a good credit score, however, continually missing payments most likely will. No matter what the bill is that you are paying, you should always pay it on time. Paying a bill late may lead to interest charges, late fees, and a drop in your credit score. Yes, companies can report late payments to credit agencies. If you do happen to accidentally pay a bill late, do not panic, though. If you are quick enough you may be able to ask for some leniency from the company and ask them not to report it.
  • You spend too much money on your credit cards. If you have a credit card, then you have a credit limit. And, this limit is different for each person and for each card. And, just because you are given this credit limit doesn’t mean you should try to reach it. In fact, you should always try to be below 30% of your credit limit if you want to have a good credit score. So, if your credit limit is $1,000, you do not want to spend more than $300 as this can impact your credit score.
  • You cancel old credit cards. 15% of what makes up your credit score is from the length of your credit history. The longer your credit history then the higher your credit score may be. If you have old credit cards that carry no annual fee, you may want to think twice before you cancel them. Yes, it can be great to simplify your life, but that old credit card may be lengthening your credit history and, therefore, increasing your credit score.
  • You forget to check your credit report. When was the last time you checked your credit report? Sadly, many don’t ever check theirs! You want to check your credit report at least once a year because there may be errors on it and this may be preventing you from having a good credit score. Errors can then lead to your score dropping and that’s a big reason to check!

Read more at These 4 Mistakes May Be Holding You Back From A Good Credit Score.

If you’re looking for professional credit repair services, then I recommend looking into Lexington Law.

If you contact Lexington Law, then they will give you:

  • Free personalized credit consultation
  • Free access to your TransUnion report summary
  • Free credit report review and recommended solutions

Lexington Law has been around for several years and has helped many, many people increase their credit score. They can help you remove items from your credit report such as items in collections, late payments, judgments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and more, which can help you to increase your credit score.

Here’s what Lexington Law says about bad credit, and how they can help you if you have a bad credit score.

“Thousands of people who are considered to have bad credit based on the information in their credit reports are in actuality, not a high credit risk. The information in their credit reports is giving lenders an unfair impression of who they are and they are suffering the consequences in the form of high interest rates and other bad credit related expenses. Fortunately, the law affords people who are being unfairly labeled as having bad credit with the ability to dispute any of the questionable items in their credit reports in an effort to have them permanently removed. Lexington Law has helped people like this legally remove millions of questionable items from their credit reports including late payments, collections, charge offs, and bankruptcies.”

What is a bad credit score to you? 

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Bad credit score is in the 500’s and lower. 300 is an “F.”

  2. Doreen

    Most people fail to realize that mismanaged credit (resulting in a poor credit score) becomes a real detriment to gaining access to financing. Because people with low credit scores tend not to qualify for traditional loans with banks or credit unions -as pointed out in the article-, they often find themselves seeking out alternative financing options like P2P lending, title loans or cash advances with less stringent requirements for credit score; but they, in turn, have very high interest rates -making them very hard to pay back. When a borrower is unable to pay or defaults on these types of loans, their credit takes another blow and the downward spiral continues. For a person to avoid these pitfalls and keep financially healthier options available to them, they must mind their credit. It matters!