Is 730 a good credit score? Yes, but it’s not quite as “excellent” as many of the self-proclaimed “leading” credit card websites claim.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you have a 730 credit score you are not truly in the “excellent” category like this top ranking credit card site claims:
In fact, I can’t remember any time when a score of 730 was considered excellent. I remember several years ago (back in ’06 and ‘07 before the crash) my FICO was 729 and even with that, I still had difficulty qualifying for my favorite AmEx and the other best credit cards during that time.
That being said, as of January 2014, if you have a 730 you still will have a fairly decent chance at getting approved for top reward credit card offers and those offering 0% APRs on purchases and balance transfers.
Why is it that so many credit websites and even a few financial pundits still believe 730 is top tier credit? Sure it is great but it’s not top-tier. Here’s what 730 can (and cannot) do for you…
First of all you should keep in mind that your score is not the only determining factor in whether or not you will get approved for a credit card or loan. Some of the other factors which are weighed heavily are:
- History: It’s actually possible (and rather easy) to achieve a credit score of 730 at a relatively young age. When you’re 18 if you get a few credit accounts (cards and/or loans) and maintain a perfect payment history and low credit utilization on the card(s), then it’s not unusual to hit 730 by the time you are 20 years old. However you can bet that a 730 score coming from a 2 year old credit file will be scrutinized much more closely by the banks than a 10 year file with the same score.
- Income: No, I’m not saying you need to be raking it in, but rather you just need to be employed with at least an average income. If you submit an application and put some low figure like $10k for your annual earnings, you will almost certainly get rejected for any half-way decent card (exceptions can be made though for those who have significant assets – i.e. retired or rich).
- Debt: How much debt do you have? How do your debt levels compare to your total available credit? Even if you really do have a high score, a high debt to credit ratio might trigger a denial.
So any one of the above factors can nix an approval, no matter what your score is. That being said, here’s what you can expect on average with a 730 FICO score…
Most (but not all) reward cards
You should have a good shot at qualifying for many of the hottest cash back and travel cards on the market, but not even 730 is a guarantee of approval.
If you look on the forum you will regularly see posts from people who have scores in the 730 to 750 range and sometimes they still get denied for some of the better reward cards from American Express, Discover, and Chase (but maybe something else on their credit reports may have influenced these decisions). However, the odds are still in your favor of getting approved for them, so it’s certainly worth giving it a try. The worst that can happen is that they politely decline. It’s important to remember that banks need your business and then need a constant influx of new customers to remain profitable. Sometimes business conditions require them to be more selective than usual but they generally always welcome people with strong credit scores.
Low (but not perhaps not the lowest) mortgage rates
According to MyFICO, the average score range to get the best rates is 760 to 850. If you have a 730 FICO score with a few years of history and nothing sketchy (no bankruptcy, delinquencies, etc.) you probably should still be able to get good rates… but they won’t be the best.
The choice-rate car loans (hopefully)
You know those car commercials which tout 0% for 60 months – or when 0% isn’t being offered – the advertised rate may be another low number like 1.9% or 2.9%?
So what’s the minimum credit score requirement for a 0% auto loan, or whatever the lowest rate is?
To get the low rates you hear in the commercials, you will need to have what they deem to be “tier 1” credit. Most auto manufacturers have 3 (but sometimes 4) tiers of financing:
- Tier 1 = 720 to 850
- Tier 2 = 700 to 719
- Tier 3 = 670 to 699
- Tier 4 = 639 to 669
These are only examples. Keep in mind different auto manufacturer might have different score ranges for each of their credit tiers.
However the short and sweet story here is that fortunately, a 730 credit score should probably qualify you for tier 1 (the lowest advertised rates) or tier 2 (which will likely be couple percentage points higher).
What’s a good card for a 730 FICO in 2014?
No card will guarantee approval, but in my personal opinion. with a 730 I think you would have a very good shot at getting approved for these.
Written or last updated January 24, 2014