When Fair Isaac introduces its new formula for calculating credit scores this Spring, the new calculations are said to do a better job at sorting good borrowers from the risky ones. Having a high FICO score can save you thousands of dollars every year, because those with highest scores are rewarded with the lowest interest rates. But what type of score determines the good from the bad, anyway? To find out just
- The highest possible score is 850, while the lowest possible score is 300.
- Most lenders require a score of at least 760 to get the best rates.
- After 760, mortgage rates increase according to these score brackets: 700-759, 660-699, 620-659, 580-619, 500-579.
- Interest rates increase significantly with a score below 620, because at that point lenders consider you to be in the subprime category.
The FICO website gives this example: If you borrow $300k and have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you'd save $600 each month / $7,000 each year / $210,000 over the life of the loan with a credit score of 760 versus 579. Pretty powerful when the numbers are broken down like that.