688 Credit Score Explained - What You Need to Know

688 Credit Score Explained - What You Need to Know

A 688 credit score falls within the FICO® Good range which is from 670 to 739.

A credit score is a number used by lenders to determine what offers, interest rates, and rewards they can give to a borrower.

With a 688 credit score, lenders will likely view you as an 'acceptable' borrower but likely will not give you the lowest rates. It’s also important to monitor a 688 credit score and keep up with it since it is on the lower end of the Good range. This means that it could drop into the Fair range, 580 to 669, which could get to be restrictive.

What are the benefits of a 688 credit score?

Having a good credit score like a 688 will help you get access to things like new credit lines and other opportunities like getting a mortgage. Lenders are likely to see you as a good borrower that is likely to keep up payments.

A 688 credit score means that you may have a few marks lowering your score or a relatively short credit history. A good credit score with a longer credit history may have a few late payments or higher credit usage rates. A shorter credit score likely also has good credit management so far.

How to keep up a 688 credit score

It is a good idea to understand your 688 credit score in order to keep up with your future financial opportunities. If you ever want to buy a house or a new car, being smart about your credit score can prove to be highly beneficial.

By focusing on how you can improve your credit score, you may be able to move into the 'Very Good range' (740-799) with a few steps.

On-time payments

The first step to keep up your credit score is to make your payments on time. On-time payments account for up to 35% of your credit score which makes it a very substantial portion of your credit score. With a 688 credit score, a late or missed payment can put you at risk of falling into the next range down. Your payment schedule also has the potential to improve your score, so it is crucial you keep up with your due dates.

Credit utilization

Your credit utilization is another very important aspect of your 688 credit score, making up 30% of your overall score. Credit utilization is a percentage calculated by dividing how much you’ve used of your total available credit lines. For example, if you had a credit availability of $500 and you spent $300, your utilization percentage would be calculated by $300/$500 or 60%.

In order to maintain or improve your score, it is recommended that you keep your utilization at or below 30%.

Length of credit history

The next aspect of your 688 credit score is how long you have had credit. 15% of your total score is determined by the length of your credit score. A longer credit history is more likely to have a higher score. This shows how you maintain your credit over time including things like timely payments and credit utilization.

New accounts and applications

If you open a new account like a credit card or a loan for a car, your 688 credit score will experience an automatic temporary decrease. New accounts and applications account for 10% of your total credit score. It is important to only apply for, and open new accounts that you are sure of. With a 688 credit score, it may be a good idea to wait on opening any new accounts to ensure that you won’t fall into the Fair range.

Types of Credit

Credit is either considered revolving credit or an installment loan. Revolving credit has a set limit and a payment schedule that can vary. The most common type of revolving credit is a credit card. An installment loan is a credit line that has a set repayment schedule and fixed payments. A mortgage and car loans are installment loans. 10% of your credit score comes from having a mixed type of credit. You should aim to have both revolving credit and installment loans in order to have a balances credit score.

Public Records

Lastly, public records contribute to your 688 credit score. While public records do not always show up on credit reports, they still can make you ineligible for some lines of credit. An example of a public record is bankruptcy. A public record shows up on your credit report for 10 years and accounts for 10% of your total score. If you have a 688 credit score, you should be mindful as you’re at risk of falling into the Fair range.

How to improve a 688 credit score

In order to get lower interest rates and be eligible for better rewards, you should focus on improving your credit score.

  1. Understand your current credit score. By staying informed of where you can improve and what areas you are doing well in, you can maximize the possibility of increasing your score.
  2. Make your payments on time. Keeping your payment schedule on time plays a large roll in the potential to increase your score.
  3. Mix your credit and be sure to have both revolving credit and installment loans.
  4. Keep your credit utilization low, at or below 30%.

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