Is a 615 credit score good? Credit scores range from a low of 350 to a high of 850. A score of 615 is considered “Poor”. However, you may still have some options. Here’s 4 loans to apply for now.
With a 615 credit score, you’ll probably find it difficult to qualify for mortgages, loans, and credit cards with competitive interest rates.
It’s in your best interest to improve your credit scores as much as possible. Credit scores are important when qualifying for a loan or mortgage, applying for a job or apartment, and for obtaining professional certifications, licenses, and security clearances.
If you improve your credit score to a 620 (which should be relatively easy), your credit score will be considered “Fair”.
What You Can Potentially Get With a 615 Score
Click the links below to check out lenders and loan options that may be available for a 615 credit score. Note that interest rates are generally subject to market conditions and can change at any time.
So, what can I do with a 615 credit score? Can I get a loan? Yes, it’s possible, depending on the type of loan you’re applying for. However, what you qualify for will likely have above average interest rates.
Is a 615 credit score good enough to refinance?
Maybe. If you have an existing FHA or VA mortgage, you may be able to reduce your interest rate and payment with a streamline refinance. Streamline refinances commonly ignore credit scores. If you don’t already have a VA or FHA mortgage, it will likely be difficult to refinance.
What about purchasing a home?
Can I buy a house with a 615 credit score? Unfortunately, it will probably be difficult to qualify for a home purchase loan. Most mortgage lenders want your credit score to be at least 620 for a home purchase loan, whether you use VA, FHA, or conventional financing.
Is 615 a good credit score for a HELOC or home equity loan?
Maybe. It will probably be difficult to find a HELOC or home equity loan with your credit score, but you may be able to qualify if you have a lot of equity in your home.
Is a 615 credit score good enough for a personal loan?
Yes, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan. However, 615 credit score personal loans tend to have interest rates significantly higher than average.
How about an auto loan? Is a 615 credit score good enough to finance a car?
Yes, you may be able to qualify for an auto loan. However, 615 credit score car loans tend to have interest rates significantly higher than average. You may need to stretch your loan term out to keep your payment manageable.
Is 615 a good credit score to get a credit card?
Yes, you may qualify for a credit card, but you may have a low starting credit limit, a high rate, or you may be offered a secured credit card that requires you to keep cash on deposit at the issuing bank.
Can I get a reverse mortgage with a 615 credit score?
If you’re over 62 and a homeowner, you may be able to qualify for a reverse mortgage with your credit profile.
How Your Credit Score Is Calculated
There are multiple credit scoring models available, but the one most commonly used by lenders is the FICO. According to MyFICO.com, there are five main factors that go into calculating your 615 credit score:
- Payment history: 35%. Making your payments on time is one of the most important factors that determine your credit scores. Payment history is also evaluated as a separate lending criteria for many types of loans (for example, mortgages).
- Credit utilization: 30%. If you have high utilization (i.e., you’re “maxed out”) on your credit cards, expect your credit scores to take a hit even if you make your payments on time. Ideally, you want to keep your utilization on credit cards below 30% of the credit limit. This is important even if you pay off your credit cards in full every month.
- Credit age: 15%. Length of credit history contributes to good credit scores. Avoid closing old accounts unless absolutely necessary.
- Credit mix: 10%. Lenders like to see a mix of different types of credit accounts, such as revolving (credit card) accounts and installment loans like mortgages, car loans, etc.
- New credit: 10%. Be careful when applying for new credit cards or loans. Too many new accounts can damage your credit scores.
The FICO credit score model does not consider things like race, color, religion, where you live, age, job, employer, or family support obligations. It only focuses on how well you pay your bills and manage your credit.
How We Categorize Credit Scores
Credit scores range from a low of 350 to a high of 850. We categorize credit scores as ‘Poor’, ‘Fair’, ‘Good’, and ‘Excellent’ using criteria similar to what mortgage lenders use:
- Poor: 350 to 619
- Fair: 620 to 719
- Good: 720 to 779
- Excellent: 780 to 850
According to Credit.com, the average credit score in the United States was 711 in 2021. This means your credit score is significantly below the national average.
How Can I Improve My 615 Score?
Your credit rating is important – and not just for getting the best loan deal. Your credit profile may be scrutinized when you rent an apartment, apply for a job, or get a professional certification or security clearance. This is why it’s important for your credit scores to be as strong as possible even if you have no plans to apply for a loan. Here are some tips for improving your credit score:
- Always make your payments on time. To increase your credit scores, it’s essential to pay your bills on time. Payment history is the most important factor that affects your credit score.
- Avoid overutilizing revolving accounts like credit cards. Using too much of your credit limit can harm your credit scores, even if you pay your bills on time. This is why some people have credit scores in the 600s or low 700s despite making timely payments. It’s best to keep your credit card balances below 30% of your credit limit to maintain a good credit score.
- Be careful with balance transfers. Credit card companies often set your credit limit on the new account equal to the amount you’re balance transferring, which means you’re 100% utilized (i.e., “maxed out”) on the new account from the get-go. Your credit score may take a significant hit. If you’re not planning to apply for loans in the near future, this may not matter, but it’s something to keep in mind.
- Keep older accounts. If you want to close some accounts, keep the older ones open because having a longer credit history is good for your credit score. You should consider closing newer accounts first before closing the older ones.
- Don’t open too many accounts at once. Be careful not to open too many new credit accounts at one time. If you’re shopping aggressively for new loans or credit cards, your scores may take a hit.
- Clean up derogatory credit. If your credit score is 615, you may have some collections and charge offs in your credit file. These can have a significant negative impact on your scores, so it’s important to get them cleared up as soon as possible.
- Recent bankruptcy or foreclosure. If a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure has damaged your credit, there’s not much you can do other than wait. Only time heals the damage a bankruptcy or foreclosure does to your credit score.
It’s best to avoid title and payday lenders. They charge very high interest rates, sometimes 100% to 300% or more per year. Title and payday loans are very expensive and can be hard to pay off.
Don’t Let Somebody Else Damage Your Credit
As we’ve covered, it’s important to manage your credit properly so your 615 score improves. However, it’s also important to protect your credit from damage caused by others. Here are some tips for protecting your credit score:
- Cosign with care. When you cosign for somebody, you become legally obligated on the new debt. We recommend never cosigning at all. But if you must, make sure you’re cosigning for somebody who will make their payments on time without fail. If they don’t, your credit score will suffer. Be especially careful about cosigning for student loans. Student loans can make it tougher to get a mortgage for many, many years to come even if you’re just a cosigner.
- Freeze your credit files. If you’re not planning to apply for loans in the near future, we highly recommend freezing your credit files at the three major credit repositories: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
- Protect your identity. It’s not enough to just be careful about giving out your Social Security number. Your personal information is stored in a huge number of places, including lenders, federal agencies, credit repositories, insurance companies, etc. A single data breach can put your personal information into the hands of identity thieves who will destroy your credit. We highly recommend protecting your credit with identity theft protection.
Protect Your Identity
Over 147 million Americans had their personal information (Social Security Numbers, account numbers, addresses, etc.) exposed in the Equifax data breach of 2017. That means there’s nearly a 1 in 2 chance that some of your personal information has already been compromised. Data breaches happen all the time. Protect your identity before you become an identity theft victim.
Check Your Credit Regularly
It’s important to check your credit periodically to make sure there aren’t any ugly surprises that could pop up the next time you apply for a loan. You can check your credit once per year for free at annualcreditreport.com (credit scores are likely an extra charge).
Do Credit Inquiries Damage Credit Scores?
It’s okay to be cautious about credit inquiries, but don’t worry about them too much. When you’re looking for the best loan deal, it’s okay to have a few inquiries. If you have multiple inquiries for the same reason and within a short period of time, they’re treated as one inquiry for scoring purposes.
In general, credit inquiries are not harmful as long as you don’t have too many of them.
Is 615 a Good Credit Score?
So, is a 615 credit score good or bad? As we’ve covered, a 615 score is considered “Poor”. If you can increase your credit score to a 620, it will be considered “Fair” and you will likely have more financing options – particularly if you’re seeking a home loan.
It’s in your best interest to improve your credit scores as much as possible. Be sure to pay your payments on time, don’t accumulate too much revolving debt, and clean up any collections and charge offs that appear on your credit report.
What’s a normal credit score for a 25-year-old?
There is no “normal” credit score for any particular age. Credit scores are calculated mainly on payment history and the amount of debt you carry. Length of credit history matters, but it has a relatively small impact on your credit scores.
Is 700 a good credit score?
A credit score of 700 is considered “Fair”. “Good” credit scores are usually 720 and above.
Is the 615 credit score Transunion has for me good enough to buy a car?
You may be able to finance a car with a 615 credit score, but you’ll likely have a high interest rate. The best auto loan interest rates are for scores in the 700s and higher.
Can you buy a house with a credit score of 615?
It may be difficult to get a home loan with a 615 credit score. Most lenders will require at least a 620 and above.