730 Credit Score Is Good, But Not Excellent In 2015

Posted by CreditCardGuru

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 may not truly be in the “excellent” category like this top ranking credit card site claims:

730 credit score is not excellent

However, as 2015 begins, you still will have a fairly decent chance at getting approved for top reward credit card offers with a FICO score of 730 along with 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 the absolute 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 to hit a credit score of 730 while in college if you pay your bills on time and have several cards in your name. 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, you needn’t be pulling down six figures to get to this score either, 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 anything other than a sub-prime or secured 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 that might be available?

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 bottom line here is that fortunately, a 730 credit score should probably qualify you for tier 1 (the lowest advertised rates), or worst case the tier 2 (which will likely be couple percentage points higher).

Written or last updated Dec. 31, 2014

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

13 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. IO February 21, 2015 at 12:04PM

    I have a credit score of 730. I was approved for an AMEX Everyday card. I have a history of no late payments, credit utilization is 35% and no derogatory marks. I also have a US Bank Cash Rewards card.

  2. tony December 31, 2014 at 9:49AM

    How is best to raise my credit score? I have no credit cards and don’t want any

    • StevenH January 14, 2015 at 12:33PM

      A mortgage loan is by far the best way to raise your scores. I had so-so credit when I was approved for a hard money loan (way back when) and after a year of making the payments my score jumped nearly 100 points. You should consider getting a couple of credit cards that use to make small monthly purchases and pay the balances off every month just after the reporting date. This way you carry no interest, but they report on time payments with low utilization. That should jump your credit nicely after your “account age” extends. — cheers and GL

  3. Joe November 22, 2014 at 8:59PM

    I’m not really sure who you guys are going through, but we bought our house last year, March 2013, and locked in 3.15 fixed on a 30 year loan through US Bank. My FICO was 735 and the wife’s was 745. You can still get excellent rates with a score of 730, especially if you have a bank you have worked with for many years. We also bought a car last summer and US Bank said they would beat any other finance offer we were given by 0.25% and they stuck to their word!

  4. Vincent August 1, 2014 at 8:07AM

    730 Fico Score here and denied by Bank of America

    • StevenH January 14, 2015 at 12:29PM

      BofA is notoriously strict with their credit cards. I bank with them, but will probably never waste an application on their cards. IF I get a mortgage (down the road)on a rental property from them, I might reconsider.

  5. Vincent August 1, 2014 at 8:06AM

    I have a 730 and just denied by Bank of America.

  6. Hunter July 6, 2014 at 4:00PM

    I went to Costco and get my American Express Free, I paid everything with this card inside the USA or Outside. Never paid Medical bills.

  7. Paul November 19, 2013 at 1:13PM

    Just got approved for Quicksilver with a credit score of 810.

  8. Jeff Breining November 8, 2013 at 7:16PM

    Being Debt Free is the best score anyone can have.

  9. SD January 17, 2013 at 7:54PM

    The thing is, people need to be cognizant of which score is being represented. A 730 FICO score IS a pretty good score, and usually gets you the best- or second-best tier of terms with most lenders. However, a 730 Vantage Score is completely different. It’s about equivalent to a 670 FICO score. To add to the confusion, there are many other scores developed by the credit bureaus or other companies that have scales very similar to FICO but are calculated very differently. So, the moral is, first check which model the score represents, before putting much weight into the actual number.

  10. Marcus February 9, 2012 at 12:10AM

    I totally agree. 730 is diddly squat these days. Yes it will be good enough for a lot but you won’t get top tier rates or anything like this. I think a 760 or 770 FICO credit score is what I would consider to be “excellent.”

  11. Chuck January 24, 2012 at 4:48PM

    To me having a rock star credit score is like having a sound portfolio…its a must!

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