600 Credit Score: Bad, But Not Awful


It’s that time again; where we look at one very special credit score in-depth to determine what it all means.

Today, let’s take a look at a “600 credit score.”

On the surface, it looks pretty low, but not dismal. As always, we need to look at the credit score scale being used before we begin our in-depth assessment.

600 Fico Score is Pretty Low

600 fico score

If your 600 credit score comes courtesy of the ever-popular Fico score, you’d be 250 points shy of the highest credit score, which is an 850. And 300 points above the Fico scoring floor of 300.

As far as Fico is concerned, you would have poor credit, though not terrible credit, given the fact that the average credit score for Fico was recently documented at 711.

A 600 score here could simply mean you had a few late payments, combined with some high outstanding balances. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that a major derogatory event took place.

In fact, you may not even have anything downright negative on your credit report, just nothing all that positive to keep your score above average.

In any case, a 600 Fico score will lead to higher interest rates on any loans and credit cards you’re able to get approved for.  I stress “able to get approved for” because a 600 Fico score may not be sufficient for most creditors.

In fact, there’s a good chance your 600 Fico score will lead to denials at most of the major credit card issuers, especially for their most sought after offers.

Assuming we’re talking about a mortgage, your 600 Fico score would be considered “subprime,” and you’d probably have to apply for an FHA loan or take your chances with a subprime lender.

[What credit score is needed to buy a home?]

So if your credit score is 600, get your hands on a credit report and get to the bottom of why you’re closer to the bottom than the top of the credit scoring scale.

600 VantageScore is an “F”

600 vantagescore

If your 600 credit score is a VantageScore, you’d be 390 points short of perfection, which is a 990 credit score, and just 99 above the 501 bottom.

You’d also be in their “F” credit score grade bracket, and I think we all know what an “F” letter grade implies. FAIL!

A 600 credit score at VantageScore would imply outright bad credit, and would probably indicate that a serious derogatory event took place, such as a charge-off, foreclosure, or even a bankruptcy.

Regardless of the failing, it would be recommended that you determine why your credit score is low and take measures to improve it. Immediately.

This may include disputing tradelines with the credit reporting agencies and/or employing credit score monitoring until all the issues are resolved.

It’s certainly going to take a lot of legwork to get to the good and excellent level, so get to work, because credit scores at this level are costing you money!

Also check out my thoughts on a 500 credit score, 700 credit score and an 800 credit score.

Tip: How to improve your credit score.

(photo: Marcin Wichary)