530 Credit Score: Yes, It Sucks

530 Credit Scores Blow

It’s another blue Monday, so I figured it’d be a good time to take another look at a specific credit score.

And because Mondays are so “sucky,” why not also look at a “sucky credit score.” Yes, I’m referring to one in the 500s, because let’s face it, they all suck in that realm.

Let’s center in on the embarrassingly low “530 credit score,” which on either the Fico or VantageScore credit score scale, is pretty dismal. Yep, no excuses here guy or gal.

But as always, we need to ensure we’re using the proper scale to accurately measure the score.

530 Fico Score Definitely Bad

Let’s start with Fico, which ranges from 300-850.

A 530 credit score would be considered a “bad credit score,” at 350 points below perfection and just 230 above the absolute bottom.

If you have a credit score in the low-500 range, you most certainly have a missed payment or two, and probably a collection or charge-off, which means you failed to make good on those late payments.

You probably also have high credit utilization, meaning most of your credit lines are either maxed out or higher than they should be.

Experts agree that the best credit utilization is below 20%, meaning if you’ve got a $1,000 credit card limit, using $200 or less is optimal.

From a frugality standpoint, carrying a credit card balance is bad news, as you’re charged interest, so I always recommend consumers carry a zero balance. It’ll help both your credit score and your wallet.

530 VantageScore Even Worse

With regard to VantageScore, the lesser known, but second most popular credit score, a 530 credit score would put you in their “F” bucket.

And it’s just above the 501 absolute bottom, so clearly it’s not good news. In fact, if your credit score is this low, you’ve probably got a bankruptcy on your record, and maybe a foreclosure for good measure.

You’ll certainly have a slew of delinquent account and not much in the way of positive credit history.

It’s not to say you’re completely screwed, but it’s going to take a lot of time to get back on track. We’re talking years…

In any case, a credit score monitoring program is probably advisable to keep track of your progress as you try to get back in the credit reporting agencies‘ good books.

You may also want to take a hard look at your credit report to determine if anything is reporting in error.

If so, you can dispute the negative items and you may see your credit score rise relatively quickly.

There have definitely been cases of erroneous medical collections sinking credit scores, so it’d be in your best interest to take a look and see if there are any easy outs first.

After that, healthy credit score habits such as paying on time, keeping balances lows, and applying for new credit sparingly will boost your scores.

Read more: How to improve your credit score.

(photo: Clearly Ambiguous)