You know that your FICO scores impact so much of your financial life – APRs for credit cards, home, auto, private student loans – not to mention what you pay for car and home insurance, but you want to know what exactly are they looking for to approve you for the best rates.
What FICO scores do credit cards look for?
On a credit score range of 300 to 850, card companies want to see higher scores than lower scores. To make sure you get the best APR's, balance transfer offers, and low fee cards, you want to aim for credit scores above 700, ideally 740 and up. With these high scores, you have demonstrated that you are responsible with credit and do not present a high risk of loss to the bank.
"I have a credit score in the 600s, can I still get a credit card?"
Just because you do not have a 700+ FICO score does not mean you cannot get a credit card. All it means is that you will pay a higher interest rate until you are able to demonstrate than you can handle your finances wisely. A lower FICO indicates more risk to the bank and a higher chance of you defaulting on your loan agreement which means the bank may lose money and so they will charge you a much higher interest rate to compensate for their potential losses.
Where to get the best credit card offers?
No matter where you find yourself on the credit score range, you may find the best card offers from your local credit union. I have seen several single digit APR's with low or no balance transfer fees while all the major card companies are charging in the mid teens APRs even for excellent credit. Stop by and visit a local branch and you may be surprised to get approved even if you have a bad score.
So to answer the question, what FICO scores do credit card companies look for, they will accept all types of credit or bad, with the higher FICOs getting the better rates and lower fees, and the lower FICOs gave the higher rates and higher fees. The best way to get started is checking your 3 FICO credit scores.