335 Credit Score: Is it really that bad?

by Stable MARK | Updated: August 17, 2022
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Although a 335 credit score is not ideal, it is still possible to get a mortgage, car loan, or unsecured credit card with this score. There are many financial institutions that work with people with poor or very poor credit scores. With a little research, you should be able to find a lender that is willing to give you the loan you need.

If you have a credit score of 335, it's not the end of the world. There are things you can do to improve your credit and get back on track. Keep reading to find out what you can do to improve your credit score and build a bright financial future.

A 335 credit FICO score
Figure 1: 335 falls within the FICO credit score range concidered poor or very poor

Sixteen percent of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Very Poor range (300-579).

An 335 credit score is not ideal. It is a lot closer to the lowest possible credit score (300) than the highest (850). Although you may have had some payment problems in the past, you have the potential to improve your credit score. And lenders will see you as less of a risk. As a result, although you may have difficulty qualifying for a loan or unsecured credit card with a 335 credit score, it is still possible to get a mortgage, car loan, etc. If you focus on rebuilding your credit reputation, you will be more likely to be approved for these types of loans.

How to improve your 335 credit score

Although your FICO® Score of 335 is well below the average credit score of 711, there is still plenty of opportunities to improve your score. A great way to start building up your credit history is to obtain your FICO® Score. Along with the score, you will get a report that outlines the main events in your credit history that are causing your score to be lower. This information, drawn directly from your credit history, can help pinpoint issues you can work on to raise your credit score.

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99% of customers have FICO® Scores higher than 335

How to build a better credit score

If you have a FICO® Score in the Very Poor range, it means you have a history of credit missteps or errors. Your FICO® Score report can help you prioritize which credit missteps you should address first. But it's also a good idea to get your credit reports from Experian and the other two national credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. Familiarizing yourself with their contents can help you better understand the missteps in your credit history, so you'll know what to avoid as you work to build up your credit. If you work to develop better credit habits, you'll likely see improvements in your credit scores.

16% of consumers with FICO® Scores of 335, have credit histories that reflect having gone 30 or more days past due on payment within the last 10 years. This shows that these consumers are reliable and trustworthy. They are the perfect candidates for credit products.

What makes an impact on your credit scores

If you have bankruptcies or other public records on your credit report, it's important to take action to settle the liens or judgments as soon as possible. This will help reduce the negative impact on your credit score. However, in the case of bankruptcy, only time can lessen the harmful effects on your credit scores. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay there for 7 years. Even though your credit score may begin to recover years before a bankruptcy drops off your credit file, some lenders may refuse to work with you as long as there's a bankruptcy on your record. So it's important to be aware of the potential long-term effects of bankruptcy on your credit.

The average credit card debt for those with FICO® Scores of 335 is $7,660

It's important to keep your credit utilization rate low in order to maintain a good credit score. Your credit utilization rate is the amount of money you owe on your credit cards divided by the total credit limit of all your cards. Most experts recommend keeping your utilization rate below 30% on each individual card and overall. The utilization rate contributes up to 30% of your FICO® Score. So it's in your best interest to keep it as low as possible.

Making late or missed payments on your bills can have a significant negative impact on your credit score. In fact, this can account for more than a third (35%) of your FICO® Score. That's why it's so important to make sure you're paying your bills on time and in full every month. This is one of the best things you can do to maintain a good credit score.

Although a longer credit history will generally result in a higher credit score, there are things that newcomers to the credit market can do to improve their score over time. Patience and care to avoid bad credit behaviors will bring score improvements with time. So even if you don't have a long credit history, there are still things you can do to improve your credit score.

Having a mix of debt and credit is important for maintaining a good credit score. The FICO® credit scoring system favors users who have several different types of credit accounts, including both revolving credit (e.g. credit cards) and installment credit (e.g. loans). If you only have one type of credit account, it may be helpful to add another type of account to improve your credit score. Credit mix is responsible for up to 10% of your FICO® Score.

If you want to keep your credit score high, you should avoid applying for new loans or credit cards. When you apply for credit, it triggers a hard inquiry, which is recorded on your credit report and reflected in your credit score. A hard inquiry happens when a lender checks your credit score to see if you're a good candidate for a loan. Hard inquiries can cause your credit score to drop a few points, but it will usually rebound within a few months if you pay your bills on time and don't apply for any new loans. (Checking your own credit is a soft inquiry and doesn't impact your credit score.) New credit activity makes up 10% of your FICO® Score.

Improving your credit score

If you're starting with a very poor credit score, it's going to take some time to improve it to a fair or good score. But if you're diligent and begin developing habits that promote good credit scores, you can start seeing some steady improvements within a few months. Here are some good starting points:

Pay on time

Paying on time, every time, is one of the best ways to build a strong credit history. If you make a late payment, try to catch it before it's reported to the credit bureaus. You can usually call your lender and they may be able to help you resolve the issue so it doesn't get added to your reports. Once a late payment is reported, it can be difficult to remove from your credit history.

Keep your balances low

The lower your credit utilization rate (the amount of your available credit you use at any given time), the better it is for your credit score.

While the general rule of thumb is to keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit, keeping it lower than 30% is even better.

There is no credit-building benefit to carrying a balance on your cards if you can afford to pay off the full balance each billing cycle. So, if you can pay your statement balance in full and on time each month, you'll avoid paying interest on those purchases. This is the best strategy for building credit.

Debt-management plan

If you're struggling to repay your loans and credit cards, a debt-management plan could bring some relief. You work with a non-profit credit-counseling agency to develop a manageable repayment schedule. Entering into a DMP effectively closes all your credit card accounts, which can have a severe impact on your credit scores. However, your scores will rebound from this more quickly than they would from bankruptcy. If this sounds too extreme for you, you may still want to consult a credit counselor (not a credit-repair outfit) to devise a game plan for improving your credit.

Credit-builder loan

Credit unions offer small loans that can help their members build or rebuild their credit. These loans are designed to help improve credit scores by reporting regular, on-time payments to the national credit bureaus. One of the most popular types of credit-builder loans works like this: the credit union issues you a loan, but instead of giving you cash, they place it in an interest-bearing savings account. Once you've paid off the loan, you get access to the money plus the accumulated interest. This type of loan can be a great way to improve your credit score. Before obtaining a credit-builder loan, make sure the credit union reports payments to all three national credit bureaus.

Apply for a secured credit card

If you're looking for a way to improve your credit score, a secured credit card may be a good option for you. With a secured credit card, you put down a deposit in the full amount of the credit limit, which is typically only a few hundred dollars. As you use the card and make regular payments, the lender will report your activities to the national credit bureaus. This will be reflected in your FICO® Score, and by making timely payments and avoiding maxing out your card, you can see an improvement in your score over time.

Credit cards and loans with a 335 credit score

Even though it may be difficult to borrow with a 335 credit score, there are still some options available, like student loans. dating back to 2008, a small percentage of other types of loans and lines of credit have been opened by people with credit scores below 540.

In particular, you're unlikely to qualify for a mortgage with a 335 credit score because FHA-backed home loans require a minimum score of 500. However, you may have better luck with other types of loans.

Credit Cards For Poor Credit Score

Suitable For
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
rebuilding credit
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
low annual fee
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
secured card with rewards
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Self-Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card
building credit with savings
Self-Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
low-interest credit-building
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Discover it® Student Cash Back
rotating cash-back bonus categories
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Milestone® Mastercard®
fraud protection
Milestone® Mastercard®
Indigo® Mastercard®
bankruptcy forgiveness
Indigo® Mastercard®

Store credit cards

If you're looking to build credit, a store credit card may be a good option for you. These cards typically incentivize you to shop at a particular retailer. Store credit cards can be either secured or unsecured, so they don't technically fall into a third category. However, they're worth considering as an option if you're trying to build up your credit history.

If you have poor credit, you might still be able to get approved for a store credit card. These cards tend to come with high interest rates, but they may also offer rewards and benefits that make sense if you already shop at the store in question. Having one of these cards may benefit you in the long run.

If you've looked into all of your options and still can't find a credit card that you can get approved for, don't worry - you have other choices. One option is to ask a family member or trusted friend to add you to their credit card account as an authorized user. But before you do that, it's important to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of being an authorized user on a credit card.

Unsecured credit cards

If you don't have the money for a security deposit, you might be able to get an unsecured credit card. The downside is that it could come with an annual fee — which is actually worse than a security deposit because you usually can't get it back. You might also have to pay higher interest rates.

Secured credit cards

If your credit still needs some work, your best bet might be to apply for a secured credit card. With a secured card, you’ll pay a security deposit upfront. This deposit will typically set your credit limit. So, for example, if your security deposit is $400, your credit limit may also be set at $400. This gives the issuer some insurance in case you close the account without paying off your debt.

Because secured cards pose less of a risk for credit card issuers, they may be more readily available to someone with poor credit. And a secured card can benefit you as a borrower if the lender reports your on-time payments and other credit activity to the three main credit bureaus.

Personal loans with a 335 credit score

Even if you have poor credit scores, there are still options for getting approved for a personal loan. However, you may not be able to shop around for the best interest rates. Instead, you may have to settle for a personal loan with a high-interest rate — plus other fees, like an origination fee.

This might make a personal loan seem unappealing at first. But if your intention is to consolidate high-interest credit card debt, a personal loan could actually help you save money in the long run. The APR on your personal loan could be lower than the interest rate you’re currently paying on your credit cards.

If you're considering taking out a personal loan, it's important to think about what you're hoping to use the money for. If it's something that can wait a little while, it might be worth your while to wait and build up your credit score. That way, when you do apply for a personal loan, you'll likely qualify for one with a lower APR and better terms.

On the other hand, if you're in a bind and need cash right away, you might be considering a payday loan. But before you make a decision, it's important to understand that these loans come with high fees and interest rates. They can quickly become a cycle of debt that's hard to break out of. So weigh your options carefully before deciding on a personal loan.

Auto loan rates for poor credit

Even though there's no specific minimum credit score required to qualify for a car loan, it can be difficult to get approved for one if your credit is poor. Even with the best auto loans for poor credit, you have to watch out for high interest rates, which can make borrowing money very expensive.

If you have time to build up your credit score before applying for a car loan, you may eventually be able to get better interest rates. But if you don’t have time to wait, there are some strategies that can help you get a loan with bad credit.

Consider finding a co-signer if you have a trusted family member or friend with good credit who is willing to share the responsibility of the loan with you. Seek out alternative lenders, such as a credit union or an online lender. Ask the dealership if they have a financing department dedicated to working with people with poor credit scores. Use buy-here, pay-here financing only as a last resort.

Benefits of improving your score to:

345 365 385 410 435 460 485 535 565 605

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