Print this page

Interpreting Your Score

A credit score, a numeric summary of your credit history, generally ranges between 300 and 850. But what does the number mean to you?
What's a good score?
There is no single "cutoff" score used by all lenders, and there are many additional factors besides your credit score that lenders use to determine whether to give you credit and at what interest rate. So it's hard to say what a good score is outside of a particular lending situation. For example, one auto lender may offer lower interest rates to people with scores above, say, 680; another lender may use 720, and so on. Talk to your Wells Fargo loan officer for guidance.
How others score
According to Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), this is how FICO® scores are typically spread among the population:
Based on the general population's FICO scores
Why your score isn't higher
When a lender receives your FICO score, up to four "score reason codes" are also delivered. If the lender rejects your request for credit, and your FICO score was part of the reason, these score reasons can help the lender tell you why your score wasn't higher.
These score reasons are more useful than the score itself in helping you determine whether your credit report might contain errors, and how you might improve your score over time. However, if you already have a high score (for example, in the mid-700s or higher) some of the reasons may not be very helpful, as they may be marginal factors related to length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit in use.
Top ten score reasons
These are the top 10 most frequently given score reasons. Note that the specific wording given by your lender may be different from this.
  1. Serious delinquency.
  2. Serious delinquency, and public record or collection filed.
  3. Derogatory public record or collection filed.
  4. Time since delinquency is too recent or unknown.
  5. Level of delinquency on accounts.
  6. Number of accounts with delinquency.
  7. Amount owed on accounts.
  8. Proportion of balances to credit limits on revolving accounts is too high.
  9. Length of time accounts have been established.
  10. Too many accounts with balances.
Certain information provided by Fair Isaac Corporation, San Rafael, California.