When I went to law school, the grading scale was bizarre. Unlike the normal 0 to 100 range, where say 90 to 100 was an A, the highest mark you could get was a 92. An ‘A’ ranged from an 86 to 92. A ‘B’ was an 80 to an 85. And this reminds me a lot of credit score ranges.
The other day a friend was telling me his credit score was in the 900s. I told him that was impossible because credit scores ranged from 300 to 850. It turns out, however, that different credit scores have different ranges. So out of curiosity, I dug into the deep recesses of the Internet to bring you the range of credit scores for the various types of scoring models. Let’s start with the familiar FICO score.
The range of scores under the FICO scoring model is 300 to 850. While the folks at FICO don’t assign letter grades to its scores or tell you what score constitutes a “good score”, they do provide some useful information. According to myFICO, the best interest rates on a mortgage go to folks with scores between 760 and 850. Rates then rise as scores fall into the following ranges:
- 760 – 850 (lowest interest rate)
- 700 – 759
- 680 – 699
- 660 – 679
- 640 – 659
- 620 – 639 (highest interest rate)
Here’s a snapshot of these score ranges, along with the estimated interest rates associated with each (monthly payments are based on a $150,000 mortgage):
Note that the above interest rates change daily, and you can see today’s mortgage rates, which may be higher or lower than what’s listed above.
The range of credit scores with VantageScore is probably the closest to a typical grading scale as you’ll find. Oddly, the top score is 990. Why it’s not 1,000 remains a mystery. The complete range of possible scores is 501 to 990. But VantageScore does assign a familiar letter grade to its numerical scores. Here’s the breakdown:
- A: 901—990
- B: 801—900
- C: 701—800
- D: 601—700
- F: 501—600 (High Risk)
Equifax Credit Score Range
Equifax offers its own proprietary scoring model with a range of 280 to 850. Just to confuse matters, Equifax also offers a FICO score to consumers, which is the better choice if you want to see the score most lenders will see.
Experian Plus Score Range
The Experian Plus Score ranges from 330 to 830.
TransRisk New Account Score Range
Like the FICO score, the TransRisk New Accounts Score ranges from 300 to 850.
CE Score Range
With all of these different credit scores and ranges, one question to ask is which one do creditors actually use? While different creditors use different scoring models, FICO is by far the most widely used. You can get more details of the types of credit scores available in our Complete Guide to Credit Scores.
And if I’ve missed any credit score ranges, please let us know in the comments below.