590 credit score: How good or bad is it?

by Stable MARK | Updated: July 10, 2022
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Your 590 credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial life. It can impact everything from your ability to get a mortgage to the interest rate you pay on your credit cards. So, how good or bad is a 590 credit score?

Let’s get started to understand what it means, what you can get with a 590 credit score and how to improve it.

A 590 credit FICO score
Figure 1: 590 falls within the FICO credit score range concidered fair

17% of all consumers have Credit Scores that are considered to be in the Fair range, which is between 580 and 669.

Is 590 a good credit score?

If you have a 590 credit score, it means that you have a fair credit rating. This is not a bad score, but there are some things you can do to improve your credit rating and make it easier to get approved for loans and credit cards in the future.

Credit scores are used by lenders to decide whether or not to give you a loan. They are also used by landlords to decide whether or not to rent to you. A good credit score means that you're a low-risk borrower, and a bad credit score means that you're a high-risk borrower.

That being said, a 590 credit score is not necessarily a death sentence. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your score and make yourself a more attractive borrower in the eyes of lenders.

83% of Americans have a credit score above 590.

U.S. average FICO credit score by age - Q2 2019
Figure 2: U.S. average FICO credit score by age - Q2 2019. Source: Amex

It may be difficult for you to obtain a loan or card

A 590 credit score is not a good score, unfortunately. This means that you may have a hard time getting approved for a loan or a credit card. If you do get approved, the interest rates will likely be high. It's important to work on improving your credit score so that you can access better terms and conditions in the future.

Approximately four out of ten individuals in America who have a FICO® Score of 590 or below have at least one late payment on their credit report.

What does a 590 credit score get you?

Credit Cards For 590 Credit Score

Suitable For
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
low annual fee
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
low-interest credit-building
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
no annual fee
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
flat-rate cash back
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card
up to 1.5 percent cash back
Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card
Credit One Bank Wander® Card
Credit One Bank Wander® Card
Milestone® Mastercard®
fraud protection
Milestone® Mastercard®
Avant Credit Card
no penalty apr
Avant Credit Card
Indigo® Mastercard®
bankruptcy forgiveness
Indigo® Mastercard®
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
low-interest and low cost
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
rewards on internet, TV, and cellphone service
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
Table 1: What can you get with a 590 credit score
Item Does 590 credit score qualifies?
No annual fee credit card Yes
Credit card with 0% financing Yes
Favorite store’s credit card Yes
No-foreign-fee credit card Yes
Airline/Hotel credit card No
Initial credit card bonus No
Any credit card No
Apartment rental Maybe
Personal loan Maybe

The average credit card debt among consumers with a FICO® Score of 590 is $5,908.

The foundation for your credit score

FICO® Scores are based on information in your credit report. So what does this mean for you? If you're carrying a lot of credit card debt, it could be one of the factors dragging down your credit score.

Making the effort to get your debt under control can be tough, but it's worth it in the long run. Not only will it help improve your credit score, but it will also give you peace of mind and free up more of your money each month.

Public Information: Bankruptcies and other public records on your credit report can have negative impacts on your credit score.

Payment history: If you have delinquent accounts or have been missing or late on payments, this can negatively affect your credit score. Conversely, if you have a history of paying your bills on time, this will help improve your credit score. The latter makes up for as much as 35% of your FICO® Score.

Credit usage rate: The credit utilization ratio is determined by adding the balances of all revolving credit accounts and dividing that number by the total credit limit. For example, if an individual has a $4,000 balance on their credit cards and a total credit limit of $10,000, then their credit utilization rate would be 40%. Most experts recommend keeping the credit utilization ratio below 30% to avoid lowering the credit score. Credit usage is responsible for approximately 30% of an individual's FICO® Score.

Length of credit history: Credit scores are generally better when you have a longer credit history. If you're new to credit, there's not much you can do about that except avoid bad habits and work to establish a track record of timely payments and good credit decisions. Length of credit history can make up for 15% of your FICO® Score.

Total debt and credit: The FICO Score looks at the different types of credit you have when determining your score. This includes both installment loans (ex. mortgages and car loans) and revolving credit (ex. credit cards). The mix of these different types of credit can make up to 10% of your FICO Score.

Recent applications: When you apply for a loan or credit card, the lender will request your credit score and often your credit report. This is known as a hard inquiry, and it can have a negative effect on your credit score. However, if you continue to make timely payments, your credit score will rebound quickly from the effects of hard inquiries. Checking your own credit is a soft inquiry and will not impact your credit score. Recent credit applications can account for up to 10% of your FICO® Score.

The average credit utilization rate for consumers with FICO credit scores of 590 is 78.2%.

How to improve and rebuild your 590 credit score

It's not as difficult as you might think to improve your credit score, even if it's not currently very good. Even a small improvement can get you a 600 credit score and make the difference. Or even 650 credit score. There are a number of steps you can take to make improvements, and with some time and effort, you can see a significant difference in your score. By following these tips, you can start to see an improvement in your credit score. It may take some time and effort, but it's worth it to have a good credit score.

Do You Need Credit Repair?

by more serious issues

Credit Repair Companies

by minor issues

Do It Yourself

Seek a secured credit card: A secured credit card can help improve your credit score, even if you don't qualify for traditional credit cards. Lenders that report card activity to the national credit bureaus allow you to put down a deposit in the full amount of your spending limit—typically a few hundred dollars. When you use the card and make regular payments, those activities will be recorded in your credit files. You can help improve your credit score by keeping your usage rate on the card below about 30%, and staying on schedule with your monthly payments.

Consider a credit-builder loan: Credit-builder loans can help improve your credit score by demonstrating your ability to make regular monthly payments. With the loan funds placed in a savings account that generates interest, you can build up your credit profile while also getting the cash and interest accrued once you’ve paid off the loan. Be sure to check with the lender that they report activity to all three national credit bureaus before applying for a credit-builder loan.

Consider a debt-management plan: A debt-management plan may be of assistance to individuals who are struggling to keep up with credit payments. You would work with an authorized credit-counseling agency to establish a manageable repayment schedule and effectively close all credit accounts. Although this is a significant step that can negatively impact your credit score in the short-term, it is not as damaging as bankruptcy and can provide you an opportunity to rebuild your credit eventually. If a debt-management plan is not suitable for you, a good non-profit credit counselor can help you find strategies for improving your credit.

Pay your bills on time: If there is only one thing you can do to improve your credit score, it would be to bring any overdue accounts up to date and avoid late payments in the future. There are many things you can do to remind yourself to pay the bills on time such as using automatic payments, setting calendar alarms, or writing yourself notes and placing them where you will see them often. Within a few months, you'll develop habits that promote higher credit scores.

Avoid high credit utilization rates: Keep your balances low. Another important factor in credit scoring is your "credit utilization ratio." This is the percentage of your available credit that you are using at any given time. The lower this number is, the better it is for your score. Utilization of credit, or debt usage, is the factor that contributes to approximately 30% of your FICO® Score. If you keep your utilization rate below 30%, it can help you maintain a higher score.

Evaluate your credit report: It is a good idea to check in on your credit report periodically. You are allowed to request one free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year. It's important to make sure that there are no inaccuracies on your report that could negatively impact your score for no reason. Take a look at your credit report and identify any negative items that are holding your 590 credit score back.

Dispute negative items: It is important to check your credit report periodically for errors and to dispute any inaccuracies that you may find. You can customize and send dispute letters to the credit bureaus to request that negative items be removed from your report.

Extra tips for improving your credit score

Work with a reputable credit counseling or repair service if necessary. If you have bad credit, there's no shame in seeking help from a professional service. Just be sure to choose a reputable company that will help you improve your score in a legitimate way.

Use a mix of different types of credit. Lenders like to see that you can handle different types of debt, such as installment loans and revolving lines of credit. This shows that you're a responsible borrower.

Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service so you can keep an eye on your progress and spot any potential issues early on.

Keep old accounts open even if you don't use them often.

Limit new applications for credit.

As a conclusion

A 590 FICO® Score is a good starting point for building a better credit score. It's not perfect, but it's a good place to start. With a little work and some patience, you can improve your credit score and get on the path to financial success.

Benefits of improving your score to:

600 610 620 630 640

Drawbacks of worsen your score to:

580 570 560 550 540

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