690 Credit Score: What does it mean?

by Stable MARK | Updated: July 14, 2022
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A 690 credit score is considered to be good. You can expect to receive low interest rates on credit cards and loans. Lenders view consumers with scores in the good range as "acceptable" borrowers and may offer them a variety of credit products.

Let’s get started to understand what it means, what you can get with a 690 credit score and how to improve it.

A 690 credit FICO score
Figure 1: 690 falls within the FICO credit score range concidered good

Twenty-one percent of U.S. consumers have credit scores that are in the Good range.

Is 690 a good credit score?

A 690 credit score is generally considered to be "good." This means that it shouldn't be too difficult to get approved for a mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan. Lenders tend to prefer working with borrowers who have good credit scores because it's less of a risk for them. And it can actually get even better than that. One of the best ways to improve your credit score is by repairing your credit, which can then lead to better loan rates that you and your family deserve. Having a 690 credit score means having a good credit rating, many loan options, low loan costs, and minimal credit repair needed.

Good range credit scores by age

U.S. population by age with 700+ FICO credit score
Figure 2: U.S. population by age with 700+ FICO credit score

The average age of your credit cards and loans is factored into your credit score, which is why older individuals tend to have higher scores. However, the fact that nearly one-quarter of people aged 18 to 24 have credit scores of 700 or above should give newcomers plenty of hope.

Good range credit scores by income

Percentage of U.S. population with good FICO credit score by income
Figure 3: Percentage of U.S. population with good FICO credit score by income

People who earn at least $50,000 per year are considerably more likely to have a credit score of 700 or above. And people who earn between $75,000 and $99,999 per year are in the ideal range for a score that starts with a 7 or an 8. But it's important to note that it is possible to have a score above 700 even if you earn less, or to have a much lower score even if you make a lot more. It all comes down to spending within your means.

40% of consumers have credit scores lower than 690.

How to get a 690 credit score

There is no foolproof method to achieve a specific credit score. However, you can try to fall within a general range. Even with the different credit scores and definitions of good credit, there are general principles that can help you establish and maintain healthy credit. Adhering to these principles over time can improve your scores, making you a more favorable candidate in the eyes of lenders.

If you want to stay on top of the important factors that can affect your credit, here are some practical tips:

1. Keep your credit utilization rate low

Your credit utilization rate is the percentage of your available credit that you use. It is recommended that you keep your credit utilization rate below 30% — in other words, using less than 30% of your available credit at any given time. Generally speaking, the less available credit you use (while still maintaining consistent use to help keep the card active), the better.

If you check your credit reports and find that you have a credit utilization rate higher than 30%, you have options to lower it, such as paying down debt or increasing your credit limits. To increase your credit limits, you’ll need to ask your current lenders for a limit increase. However, be aware that this could result in lenders doing a hard inquiry on your credit when they make their decision.

2. Pay your installments on time

Your payment history is a significant factor in your credit scores. How much a late payment can affect your scores varies depending on the severity of the lateness and how recently the payment was missed.

However, if you have a history of consistently making payments on time, this can help you to build your credit, which may increase your chances of being approved for more credit in the future if you need it.

3. Build your credit mix

It is generally not advisable to take out a loan for the sole purpose of building your credit scores. However, having a mix of different types of credit can be beneficial to your scores in the long run. Types of credit include revolving credit (such as credit cards) and installment credit (such as auto loans and mortgages).

There is one potential downside, however: Applying for new credit can lead to a hard inquiry on your credit reports, which can lower your scores. While the impact of this is typically minor, too many hard inquiries in a short period of time can be seen as a red flag by lenders. That is why it is important to have a general sense of your chances of being approved before you apply for any new credit cards or loans.

4. Time is needed

The length of your credit history, or how long you have had active accounts open, can also affect your credit scores. A longer credit history can show lenders that you have more experience using credit.

If you have a high-fee credit card that you no longer want to keep open, you may be tempted to close the account. But closing a credit card can have an impact on important credit factors like the age of your credit history, so it's important to weigh your options before cancelling a credit card.

How to improve your 690 credit score

A credit score of 690 gives you access to a wide variety of loans and credit card products. However, if you increase your score, you will improve your chances of approval for even more products, at more affordable lending terms.

Furthermore, because a 690 credit score is on the lower end of the "Good" range, it is advisable to manage your score carefully to avoid falling into the "Fair" credit score range (580-669), which has more restrictions.

Do You Need Credit Repair?

by more serious issues

Credit Repair Companies

by minor issues

Do It Yourself

Check your credit score regularly: It is recommended that you check your credit score on a regular basis. Doing so can help you to see the progress you are making as you work to improve your score. Remember that it is normal for your score to fluctuate from time to time, but what is important is that you see overall positive progress. To make things easier, you may want to sign up for a credit-monitoring service. You may also want to consider an identity theft protection service that can help to flag any suspicious activity on your credit reports.

Avoid high credit utilization rates or debt usage: It is advisable to keep your credit utilization rates low, or the amount of debt you are using in relation to your credit limit. Try to keep your overall utilization below 30% to avoid negatively impacting your credit score.

Seek a solid credit mix: It is advisable to have a mix of different types of credit. Borrowing money in the form of revolving credit and installment loans can help improve your credit score. However, you should only borrow money that you actually need.

One third of people with a credit score of 690 have late payments (past due 30 days) appearing on their credit report.

Pay your bills on time: It's important to pay your bills on time if you want to improve your credit score. Find a system that works for you and stick to it. Automated tools like smartphone reminders and automatic bill-payment services can be helpful for many people. Others prefer to use sticky notes or paper calendars. After six months or so, you may find that you don't need the reminder system anymore. (But it's still a good idea to keep it going, just in case.)

Strategies to build 700+, 750+ credit score and above

If you have a good credit score (690 or above), you're already on the right track. But did you know that a very good score (740 and above) can help you get even better interest rates? It doesn't take much to improve your credit when you're already in the good range. Just paying attention to a few key credit factors can make a big difference. Here's what to keep in mind:

Payment history

One late payment can have a negative impact on your credit score. You may want to consider setting up autopay for your credit cards and other bills, to avoid the risk of making a late payment. For a credit score of 750, an "A" grade means that you have made all payments on time.

For a 750 credit scorecard Debt Load, a grade of "A" means less than a 0.28 debt-to-income ratio.

Credit utilization

If you want a high credit score, it's important to keep your credit utilization low. Aim for using 30% or less of your credit limit, and lower is always better. Utilization below 10% is considered excellent by VantageScore, the main competitor to FICO. If your utilization is currently high, you can ask your credit card issuer for a higher limit or consider opening a new credit card. In either case, don't increase your spending or you'll lose the benefit of a higher overall limit bringing down your utilization. For example, if you have a credit scorecard with a 750 score, having a 1% to 10% utilization rate would give you a grade of "A."

By Collections Accounts and Public Records, a credit scorecard for someone with a credit score of 750+ grade A means zero collections accounts and public records.

Length of credit history

The credit scorecard for account age usually gives a grade of "B" to users who have an average account age that is less than 9 years old. However, the longer you've been using credit, and the older your average age of accounts is, the better it tends to be for your score. This is because credit scores are meant to estimate your risk as a customer, and a long history gives more data to estimate with.

Unless there is a pressing reason, like a high annual fee, you should avoid closing credit cards. Another option is to look into doing a product switch to a more suitable card from the same issuer.

Credit applications

Each time you apply for credit, there is likely to be a hard inquiry on your credit score. Each of those can take a few points off your score temporarily, so it's best to space out applications by about six months. The credit scoring card for hard credit inquiries grade "A" means fewer than 3 in the past 24 months.

Credit mix

It is better for your credit score to have a mix of installment loans (which have fixed payments for a set period of time) and revolving credit (like credit cards). A credit scorecard with a 750+ credit score and an "A" grade for account diversity means you have 4 or more account types, or 21 or more total accounts.

Maintaining a good credit history

The majority of American consumers have a good FICO® score. With some time and effort, you can increase your score into the Very Good range (740-799) or even the Exceptional range (800-850). To do this, you will need to understand the behaviors that help grow your score and those that hinder growth:

Late and missed payments are among the most significant negative factors impacting your credit score. Lenders prefer borrowers who pay their bills on time, and statistical data shows that people who have missed payments in the past are more likely to default on their debt than those who make timely payments. If you have a history of making late payments (or missing them altogether), you can improve your credit score significantly by breaking that habit. More than one-third of your credit score (35%) is determined by whether or not you have a history of late or missed payments.

Utilization rate is a technical term that describes how close you are to reaching your credit limit. You can measure your utilization rate for each account by dividing the outstanding balance by the credit limit and multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. To find your total utilization rate, add up all the balances and divide by the sum of all the credit limits.

Table 1: Utilization rate example
Balance Spending limit Utilization rate (%)
American Express $1,300 $3,000 43%
Diners Club $500 $5,000 10%
VISA $3,000 $12,000 25%
Total $20,000 $20,000 24%

Credit history: Although other factors play a role, generally speaking, the longer your credit history, the higher your credit score will be. If you're a new borrower, this doesn't help much. But if you have a good credit history, it's something to keep in mind. If you're trying to improve your credit score, focus on managing your credit carefully and making all your payments on time. Age of credit history is responsible for up to 15% of your credit score.

New credit activity typically has a short-term negative effect on your credit score. Any time you apply for new credit or take on additional debt, credit-scoring systems determine that you are at greater risk of being unable to pay your debts. Credit scores typically dip a bit when that happens, but rebound within a few months as long as you keep up with your bills. Because of this factor, it's generally a good idea to space out applications for new credit by six months or so—and to avoid opening new accounts in the months before you plan to apply for a major loan such as a mortgage or an auto loan. New-credit activity can contribute up to 10% of your overall credit score.

While public records like bankruptcies don't appear on every credit report, they can still have a significant impact on your credit score if they are listed. In fact, they can outweigh all other factors and severely lower your score. For example, a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 10 years, during which time you may not have access to many types of credit.

Having multiple credit accounts can help improve your credit score. The FICO® credit scoring system tends to give higher scores to individuals with a mix of different types of credit accounts, including both revolving credit (accounts such as credit cards that enable you to borrow against a spending limit and make payments of varying amounts each month) and installment loans (e.g., car loans, mortgages and student loans, with set monthly payments and fixed payback periods). Credit mix accounts for about 10% of your credit score. So if you're looking to improve your score, consider opening up a few different types of credit accounts.

41% of Individuals with a 690 credit score have credit portfolios that include auto loans and 29% have a mortgage loan.

What does a 690 credit score get you?

Credit Cards For 690 Credit Score

Suitable For
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
low-interest and low cost
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
dining and entertainment
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Discover it® Cash Back
first-year rewards
Discover it® Cash Back
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
groceries and online shopping
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
travel redemptions
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
My GM Rewards Card™
car enthusiasts
My GM Rewards Card™
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Discover it® chrome
gas stations and restaurants
Discover it® chrome
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
rewards on internet, TV, and cellphone service
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
flexible travel rewards
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
flat-rate cashback
Citi® Double Cash Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
starter rewards card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
simple cash back
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Citi Rewards+® Card
rewards on small purchases
Citi Rewards+® Card

Table 2: What can you get with a 690 credit score
Item Does 690 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 Yes
Initial credit card bonus Yes
Any credit card No
Apartment rental Yes
Personal loan Maybe
Mortgage loan Maybe
Auto loan Maybe

Benefits from a good range credit score

A credit score in the good range may indicate a shorter credit history with good management, or longer credit history with a few mistakes, such as late or missed payments, or high credit usage rates. Lenders see people with scores like yours as reliable borrowers and are usually willing to extend credit, although they may not offer the best interest rates or rewards.

Consumers with 690 credit scores have an average of 4.3 credit card accounts.

Can I get a mortgage loan with a 690 credit score?

If you have a credit score of 690, you should not have much difficulty getting approved for a mortgage or home loan. Your current score is considered to be a mid-to-high credit rating. There are multiple types of FICO scores, and while mortgage lenders don't usually work with the same one that's used to make most lending decisions, they'll consider a version that doesn't weigh as heavily on credit utilization. Most lenders will still look at a person's credit score to evaluate their creditworthiness. A 690 credit score is also good enough to buy a house. You can even find lenders that will consider you for higher-value homes requiring "jumbo" mortgages. Your credit score is just one of many factors that determine mortgage interest rates. Getting a good rate can save you many thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Can I get an auto loan with a 690 credit score?

If you have a 690 credit score, you may be wondering if you can qualify for an auto loan. The good news is that it is relatively cheap to take out an auto loan with this credit score. This is because there is less risk involved for the car lender. As a result, you should be able to get good rates on your auto loan. Keep in mind that the best rates are typically available to people with good-to-excellent credit scores. However, what is considered "good" credit can vary from lender to lender. In addition to the base credit-scoring models like FICO and VantageScore, there are also industry-specific scores that lenders could check. For example, FICO® Auto Scores. So, as you research the best credit card for your needs, be sure to pay attention to the required score for each card. Since each application can temporarily lower your score by a few points, you'll want to make sure you're likely to be approved before applying. But don't worry, there are plenty of credit cards available for people with a 690 credit score.

Can I get a credit card with a 690 credit score?

If you have a good credit score, you might qualify for credit cards that come with perks like cash back, travel rewards, or an introductory 0% APR offer. This can help you save on interest for some time. However, the best and most-exclusive credit cards may be out of reach to those with “merely” good credit. You may need excellent credit to be approved for these cards. A credit score of 690 would still give you access to travel rewards credit cards, though you usually do need to have a very good or excellent credit score to get a luxury credit card. You can get even better terms on your loan or credit card by repairing your credit and waiting a few short months until your score improves. A 690 score means you likely have a few-no negative item on your report. Removing any outstanding negative items (or hard inquiries) is usually the quickest way to fix your report.

Benefits of improving your score to:

700 710 720 730 740

Drawbacks of worsen your score to:

680 670 660 650 640

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