Is 730 a good credit score? Yes, but it’s not going to open as many doors as it once did.
Sorry to rain on your parade, but if you have a 730 credit score may not truly be in the “excellent” category like a top ranking credit card site claims:
However, as 2016 unfolds you still will have a relatively decent chance at getting approved for many 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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Probably the best rate-tier for car loans
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 FICO score should still probably qualify you for tier 1 (the lowest advertised rates), or worst case the tier 2 (which will likely be couple percentage points higher). You’ll probably need to set your sites on getting at or above 750 nowadays to get into the top tier.
Written or last updated January 2017