Why Your 750 Credit Score Is Not Good Enough In 2017

During the first half of the 2000’s a credit score of 750 was considered good enough to qualify for any type of loan and get the very lowest rates available. Unfortunately, that’s no always the case in today’s economy a full decade later…

750 score = okayRecently I received a message from someone who was denied for store credit card. Despite having a FICO score of 750 (according to the denial letter she received) the application was denied because:

“amount paid down on real estate accounts is too low”

So even though she had a 750, that in and of itself wasn’t sufficient since her home loan was relatively new.

In short, you will still probably qualify for almost any credit card offer on the market, but you might not get the lowest rates.

Your score translated

Here’s what various score ranges mean (based on definitions from Experian regarding FICO scores):

750 credit score – what it means

ScoreCredit typeExplanation
800+ExcellentConsumers in this range can expect easy approval for credit products and the best terms.
740-799Very goodConsumers in this range can expect to qualify for a wide range of products and are eligible to receive favorable terms.
670-739GoodConsumers in this range may vary in their qualification for credit products. Those at the lower end may get denied for premium products, or may have less-favorable terms/lower credit limits. Still, getting approved for a card or loan is absolutely feasible.
580-669FairConsumers in this range can expect higher interest rates and may not qualify for some credit products. Results will vary, based on whether the score is due to thin credit history or a troubled one (bankruptcies and late payments).
579 and lowerPoorConsumers in this range will have trouble qualifying for most credit products.

For the vast majority of the last decade, if you had a 750 score you could get approved for any credit card (assuming you had reasonable income, too). Now more than ever, I regularly hear from card issuers heavily weighing other factors in their decision:

  • amounts owed on installment accounts (such as a mortgage or auto loan)
  • negative payment history/delinquent accounts
  • debt to credit ratio (credit utilization)

With the second factor, it might actually be quite difficult to achieve a 750 credit score regardless, if you have even a relative recent delinquent account on your credit report. But now creditors are looking farther back, even taking into account negative actions from several years ago.

So what can a 750 get you?

1. It most likely will get you a mortgage – When it comes to jumbo mortgage there is a completely different set of criteria, but assuming you have a stable job history and are applying for a reasonably-priced house that fits your household income parameters, a 750 should qualify you for a good rate (but probably not the absolute best rate, which typically requires 760+).

By the way it’s interesting to note that several years ago nearly half of mortgages were for individuals with credit scores above 750. Contrast that to Q1 of 2008, when it was only 29%. Little wonder why there was a mortgage meltdown soon thereafter.

2. Likely approval for most cards, but maybe not the best rates – Credit cards for a 750 credit score will be easy to come by. In fact, you most likely will be able to get whatever you want, including the premium travel credit cards like The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. However, if you have any blemishes in your credit file (like the opening example) then a FICO score of 750 is not a guarantee of approval. Though your odds are still quite good overall. Based on forum feedback, I would estimate you have an 85-90% probability of getting approved, on average.

3. It will save you on car insurance – You say “um, excuse me?? Well unless you live in California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts, your auto insurance company has the legal right consider your credit score when calculating your premium. That may seem a little Orwellian but it’s just the way it is, unfortunately.

According to one study by CarInsurance.com, if you maintain a score of 750 or above from age 25 to 65, that will save you $23,000. So if that study is to be believed and you live in one of the 47 states which can use your score, having a good number should be quite important to you.

How to get a credit score of 750?

Okay so even though 750 might not be cream of the crop, it’s still a world of difference compared to say, a 680, 700, or 720. So how do you reach the 750 mark anyway?

Aside from fairly obvious things )like paying your bill on time) you already know, here are a few tips…

1. Keep your credit utilization very low

According to myFICO.com (which is owned by Fair Isaac and Company, aka FICO) those with a score range of 750 and above have an average credit utilization of only 7% on their revolving accounts (i.e. credit cards).

Conclusion? Try to evenly spread your purchases across multiple credit cards rather than concentrating on a single card if it might push your utilization above a max recommended threshold of 30% (or certainly below a third of your overall credit limit). So, if you’re only using one or two accounts with relatively low limits then try to make more than one payment per month to keep your utilization low.

2. Have several credit accounts

Remember, having no credit is in many ways almost worse bad credit. The same can be said for having little credit history… it won’t necessarily be considered “bad” but it certainly won’t be considered great, either.

In order to get into the high 700’s you will need to have multiple lines of credit, a diverse mix. That might mean a few revolving accounts (credit cards) and a couple installment loans (loans where you have a recurring payment of the same amount each month, like a car loan). Utilities don’t show on your credit report unless you are delinquent on them, so if you banking on those to give you diversity then think again.

3. Know the different credit scoring models

Monitoring your score is a useless endeavor if you don’t know what type of score you are looking at. So far everything I’ve talked about has been in regards to a 750 FICO credit score.

However, it’s highly likely that you don’t even know your real FICO. There are only a couple websites which offer it and you can read more here. You can also get your real FICO score with American Express and Discover credit cards – either on their website or, in the case of Discover, printed on your billing statement each month.

Or maybe you just have low standards…

Some people will argue with what I’ve said and claim a 750 is good enough. For them, maybe it is. But my thoughts are the same as what was said in this post by CreditCardForum member Celestine:

“I honestly think of a 750 credit score as just the average and not good enough. But that is just me since I set higher standards than others do.”

Do you have enough open credit lines for 2017?

Most people have the impression that having one or two credit cards is all they need and any more than that could impair their credit scores, but even though it seems counter-intuitive that’s not the case at all. You certainly don’t want to have too much outstanding credit (open credit lines) relative to your income. However, you would be surprised at how many people have credit scores of 800 with wallets, purses and sock drawers full of general use and store credit cards. The name of the game is how responsibly you manage your credit accounts along with having a diverse mix in the types of credit over time. And, if you’re into maximizing rewards there is really no way to do that with a single credit card, no matter how good you think its rewards are. Depending on your spending patterns it can take two, three or more cards to max out earnings across all the major purchase categories like groceries, travel, restaurants and gasoline.

If you want or need additional credit cards, this one is recommended as it automatically gives you free FICO every month on your billing statement:Here are some other goods ones to consider too:

Last edited on February 2, 2017

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i have 750+ fico score, very good income. i applied for credit card. i was approved but with a high interest rate (near 20%) which sucks because two of my older cards were around 10%. really looking to get something like that… i guess i will try again when my score is over 800+. lets see what happens then.

The entire concept of credit scores in this country is really flawed. The idea is for lenders to gauge risk and charge appropriately. The current system has huge holes. My FICO score is over 750. I got it there by gaming. I have a high income but until recently had an annoyingly low credit score because I paid my bills in cash or with a debit card through my youth. To increase my score I began applying for cards every 4 months or so and based on my income would receive cards with $20,000 limits. Once I amassed 10 of these I began using the cards for my monthly churn and taking the points. The notion that I am less risky now because I started using the credit (and keeping my $200,000 worth of cards under 7% utilization) is just stupid. They are extending credit I will never use unless there is some catastrophe that would force me to use them (exactly when the do NOT want me using them). Essentially the system requires you to ask for more credit than you need in order to use what you do without being penalized. If they were really interested in gauging risk they would pay more attention to percentage of net income available. Until now we are stuck with a system that thinks a guy who makes $75,000 a year and has consistently paid 1000 leaches interest each month for his whole life yet saved nothing is less risky than a guy who makes $500,000 but paid off his house and car in cash, has enough available income to pay things off in cash and a ton of savings.

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How can I get my individual credit score up? I am married and my husband has paid mulTiple mortgage and other payments late. This looks very bad on me and on my credit. I need to find a way to increase my credit score. Please help.

I believe FICO scores should be free at least once per year as are credit reports. I have done a little consumer lobbying over time and have done a little political lobbying as well. I think its time to bring FICO scores up front and center to our respective state legislatures. Maybe enven our Senators and Congressmen/women.


I used credit karma it was accurate and no credit card asked for. Also discover card gives your score each month on your statement.

Wow a dozen credit cards by age 26 and a high 700 FICO score?? You don’t need that many cards.

I’m 22 and my score is 780. I have only ONE visa credit card with a credit limit of 1500

That’s what I had and I thought I was good, until me and my wife went to buy a house and they denied me being on the loan because I didn’t have enough established credit.

I agree with Alex. I got a 730 with just one credit card over 7 months. As for Went I think you’re a little confused. I bet you got denied because you didn’t have any “secured” loan history not because you only had one credit card. You can have 100 credit cards but they still fall under “unsecured” loads. Banks want to see a good mix of secured and unsecured loan history. I car loan is a good example of a unsecured loan.

One card is not enough for many applications.
What, Mortgages want a min of 3 they like 6+. Top credit cards like 10+ with at least one previously established 5K+ TL to extend credit, because they wont extend it until someone else already has. Then there is the stigma of SubPrime Vs Prime when a manual review of your portfolio takes place. If you see on CK, 25+ TL gets you into the A TL Category.

The days like when our grandparents had 1-2 credit cards for use with everything that will get you everything credit related you might need no longer apply.

Ex: I apped for Chase Slate last April and was denied. Based on “Limited Credit established” I had 6+ years , AAOA at 2.75, no INQ to date, and 6 established open TL and 4 closed PIF TL. Only one of those TL was 5K, and it is a consumer health card. No go Chase said no even recon 3X. Not enough credit established.
I have beefed that up considerably in the last year between getting new accounts with top underwriters and bringing up my existing lines over 5K.
I apped again few weeks back and was approved for Chase Sapphire Prefferd, which has a min of 5K credit line.

Also, applied for Personal Loan in August denial reason :Limited credit history, score 717. TL at the time were 13 open 4 closed PIF. No baddies, 12% CTD, never a late, no CO,Derogs,ect…Just not enough payment history established.

Unfortunately things are alot tighter and demand alot more perseverance on the side of the consumer than ever before. I wish it were as easy as our previous generations had it.

Agree with Alex, I’m got a house at 23 and have never had a credit card now 26. Student loans, couple car notes, One paid off was enough to get approved with a 750 credit score.

The way to go very quickly up your credit score, even with multiple credit cards is to :
1) Never go beyond 50% of your credit max. If your card is $5,000, then don’t charge more than $2,500.
2) Say you have 2 credit cards. One for $10,000 that you pay 20% and a second for $5,000 that you pay 5%. Say you had no debt but now have a $7,500 purchase. Common sense would usually make you max out your $5,000 card first, then put the rest on card #2 but NO. Per Rule #1, only max out $2,500 of the credit card #1, (since max is $5,000). and Use credit card #2 for the other $5,000.
3) Find out the date each of your cards issues their statements. (It will be on the credit card statement.) For example credit card #1 may be the 5th of the month, credit card #2, may be the 7th. Say for example, credit card #1 (with $5,000 limit) is at $3,000. You need to get it to $2,500. You pay down $501 on the 15th. You now should wait, until the 6th of the next month, after the credit card company issues a new statement, so that now your new balance is below 50%, before you get a credit score. If you do it too early, you will have the above 50%, and you will get a lower credit score.
4) It takes time to reorgnize your credit cards. Believe me, it is worth it, just leave all credit card debt below 50%.
5) If you follow the advice above, your credit score can go up even in a month, as long as you have below 50%.

Don’t ever apply for any loan or new credit card until

This is not accurate – your credit utilization is based on the OVERALL amount of used credit vs available. It is not a a card by card basis, so you could have a card maxed out and it wouldn’t negatively impact you as long as your overall utilization is low.

The best is DELTA AMEX gold or platinum, worst is ICICI cards and I don’t like united or continental cards because the miles on these airline now expire within 18 months!!!!!!!!! Which is outrageous. Fidelity AMEX HAS NO FEE and returns 2% one every purchase and there are no foreign transaction fees but 1% fee is charged by AMEX, BUT with 2% you are still 1% ahead. Their visa card is similar with no annual fee and 1.5% cash back.

Don’t like Starwood, Marriott and don’t have experience with Sapphire but will study that more to make a determination. Amtrak Visa is good to have if you travel on Amtrak with no fee yearly.

Worst is ICICI Visa.

I have a quick question if your interested in answering. I am twenty five years of age, with a score of 753. (Transunion) Mostly built from a Capitalone credit card ($500 limit) and an auto loan which is co signed by my mother. I have no income but pretty good credit. Question being how do I keep upgrading my score if I cant prove my income? Most Chase and other companies wont even reply after I Apply. Thanks.

I am 26 and currently have a 780 FICO, my average credit score is a 740 and I have just paid off my auto loan. I initially only had one credit card at 1,500 limit, then I applied for two at zero percent for 12 months and maxed them out and paid them off within the year, my credit went up substantially, although I will say when using a service that monitors your credit, using anything above 50% of your available limit on each card is not a good thing. Once I paid the cards down below 50% my credit shot up, then once I paid them off in full, it shot up again. When the installment loan was gone, it went up once again. I totally recommend using a service like wells fargos enhanced identity theft protection, getting a monthly online report, its 15 bucks but the money I will save on interest is totally worth it. I get to put together “situations” and see how it will affect my credit report for each bureau. I really recommend paying the money and getting a credit reporting service from a good bank. It has helped me in the long run, in two years my credit has gone up over 100 points by using it, either to file claims against wrong info or to just see what I can do to maximize my score.

Wow, it’s great that you gave a concrete example of what a good credit score can do for you. I’m sure that most people will agree that $23,000 in savings is good motivation to work on their credit scores.

It’s fair to say that this current credit crunch will gradually subside. A 750 credit score will again have more weight than it currently does.