Knowing what a good credit score is can be difficult with lots of different credit bureaus and information being circulated.
So, is 613 a good credit score?
No, 613 is not a good credit score, it is considered a fair credit score. This can be due to issues on your credit report or a lack of credit history which can make it difficult to get approved or have higher interest rates for financial products such as personal loans, a mortgage or credit cards.
In this post, I’ll run through what a score of 613 means, how it is calculated and ways to improve your credit score including both quick fixes and long term changes.
Can You Get A Loan With A Credit Score Of 613?
Yes, you can get a loan with a credit score of 613, whether that’s a car loan, personal loan or mortgage. There are lending companies that specialise in offering credit to people across every credit score range, however, the downside is that a lower credit score usually results in a higher interest rate.
This higher interest rate is to compensate the lender for accepting an increased risk for lending you money as they rely on your credit score when making their approval decisions.
This is why focusing on improving your credit score, even if it doesn’t change your ability to repay the money in any way, can help you save significant sums of money by getting lower interest rates when borrowing money.
Having a credit score of 613 puts you below average, however, the good news is that you can improve a low credit score with a number of methods that I’ll run through below.
What Is An Acceptable Credit Score?
Your credit score is calculated by credit bureaus that analyse your financial information to help companies such as mortgage lenders or credit card companies to gauge the level of risk you pose as a borrower.
Each credit reference agency has its own credit rating system so there is not a universal credit score. This means what is classed as a good credit score can vary between the different agencies, however fundamentally they are all broadly looking for the same characteristics, which I’ll run through below.
|Credit Score Banding
|800 to 850
|740 to 799
|811 to 1,000
|961 to 999
|628 to 710
|670 to 739
|531 to 810
|881 to 960
|604 to 627
|580 to 669
|530 to 439
|721 to 880
|566 to 603
|579 to 300
|438 to 0
|720 to 0
|556 to 0
Five Factors That Affect Your Credit Score
Your credit score is calculated with five sections, each carrying a different weighting of importance. Below I’ll briefly explain each one so you can have a quick overview of what they are which can help you know where to focus your effort.
Payment History – 35%
Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score and is the most important factor. This is a record of how many successful payments you’ve made across all of your financial products and whether you have any missed or late payments.
Some people can fall down here by not having enough credit history, often thinking that avoiding things like credit cards is a good thing. However in the eyes of a credit bureau or lender, with there being no or limited history there isn’t any demonstration that you can manage money effectively and as a result, are penalised (which is one reason I’m a big fan of credit cards, and the rewards of course!).
Outstanding Debts / Credit Utilisation – 30%
This is a calculation to find out how much of your credit you are utilising at any one time. The logic is that if you are maximising the amount you are able to borrow, it shows you aren’t properly managing your money.
For example, if you have a credit card limit of £5,000 and you were to spend or carry a balance of £3,000 in a month, your credit utilisation would be 60%. Credit bureaus are wanting to see a credit utilisation of less than 30%, ideally below 10% to get into the excellent categories.
Length of Credit History – 15%
Credit bureaus and lenders want to see that you have a long and stable credit history, the longer the better. An average is taken of your accounts, so setting up new bank accounts or credit cards can impact this metric as well as closing down accounts you’ve had open for a long time.
As this metric is only 15% of your score, closing down accounts or opening new ones may not be a major issue as the benefits they can bring through improving the other metrics like credit utilisation and successful payments can outweigh the negative effects.
Total lines of credit & Credit Mix – 10%
This one can seem a bit counter-intuitive, as this one rewards you for taking out multiple forms of credit including credit cards, mortgages and car loans. The premise is that having multiple lines of credit shows you can manage money well and are rewarded with a higher score.
Having multiple lines of credit can also help the other metrics including payment history by making successful payments and credit utilisation by having access to more credit, just make sure you don’t max it out and keep up the monthly payments.
Total Hard Credit Searches – 10%
When you apply for new lines of credit and financial products, the financial company will perform a hard credit search to check your credit score which is recorded on your credit report.
Typically credit bureaus want to see no more than two hard credit searches every six months, sometimes referred to as hard inquiries. Any more than two can be seen as a red flag as it can show you’re in need of money which can mean you are a higher risk borrower.
How Long Does It Take To Fix A Fair Credit Score?
How long it will take to fix a credit score of 613 will depend on a variety of factors mainly including what is causing your credit score to be lower in the first place. Some issues can be fixed immediately like paying off outstanding debts, however, missed payments can be there for 6 years.
Fixing your credit score can be a long journey, although actually putting plans in place and implementing some improvements can be relatively quick and simple helping you access the best rates. Also, even problems that appear like they’re unfixable, such as a missed payment which if legitimate can stay on your credit report for 6 years, can still be improved.
For example, with missed payments, the way they are calculated is based on the percentage of missed payments. This means the more successful payments there are on your credit report, the less one missed payment will have an effect on your credit score.
Most credit bureaus want you to have a 98% successful payment ratio and above to have an excellent credit score. What this means is if you have 1 credit card for 2 years and miss 2 payments, that’s 22 out of 24 successful payments which is a 92% successful payment ratio.
A 92% successful payment ratio is considered poor by all of the major credit bureaus, which as you can see, 2 missed payments can be very easy to fall into and can be the reason why you have a 631 credit score.
However, this is an example of how having more financial products like credit cards, an auto loan or a mortgage can be the best way to protect against and proactively fix missed payments.
Continuing the same example of having 2 missed payments. If you were to have 3 credit cards for 3 years and a mortgage for 3 years. This would mean a total of 144 payments recorded on your credit report.
If you were to then miss the same 2 credit card payments that would be 142 out of 144 successful payments or a 99% successful payment ratio which is still considered excellent so won’t negatively impact your credit score by much, if at all. It can also help reverse any previous bad credit history.
This can seem counter-intuitive that more financial products can improve your credit score, however, it’s all about showing the credit union and lenders that you can responsibly manage money. One way this can be achieved is by having a high percentage of successful payments.
However, remember that fixing your credit history can take time, especially with credit history as the changes need time to filter through onto your report and change the metrics. I’ll run through some more ways you can improve your credit score below.
Ways To Improve Your Credit Score
Hopefully by reading through the five factors that affect your credit score above you’ve already started to understand ways to improve your credit score. The ultimate aim of improving your credit score is to be accepted for better financial products and avoid paying high interest rates unnecessarily.
Below I’ll run through some ways to improve your score.
- Keep your credit utilisation below 30%, ideally under 10%. Possibly easier said than done, however, things like spending less money on your credit card, applying for a higher credit limit or getting a new credit card can really help here.
- Pay on time. Missed or late payments can significantly impact your credit score, especially if you have a limited credit history. If you are worried about missing a payment, make sure to try and make the minimum required payment or discuss other options with the lender.
- Opening a new account. Having more credit accounts can help improve the amount of credit history you have and also protect you from the impact of any missed payment that I’ve explained earlier in the post.
- Check your credit score to see if there are any errors. This one may sound silly, however accessing your credit report can help you see for yourself if there are any problems and if there are errors you can flag them, hopefully getting them removed or amended. There are lots of places online to get a free credit report.
- Be patient. With credit history making up such a large part of your credit score, if you’re relatively young you may need time to build up some history. Also if you implement changes, it can take months or even years for the positive effects to start showing.
Benefits of Improving Your Credit Score
I hope this post is giving you a good idea of how your credit report works and why it is important. Often there isn’t a minimum credit score required to access a particular product as each lender will also have their own qualification process, of which your credit score will make up a material part.
However lending companies still heavily rely on this metric. Here are some of the benefits of improving your credit score.
- Reduce your mortgage payment with a lower interest rate
- Access to another mortgage lender that may offer better rates
- Better loan terms (length, size, reduction of an annual fee etc)
- Access to the best credit cards only available to people with higher credit scores
- Flexing rights (my personal favourite)
Are Credit Repair Companies Worth It?
It may be tempting to find a credit repair company and try to find a quick fix. A lot of these companies promise the world and can charge significant sums of money, however fundamentally are still bound by the same rules and timelines as you doing it yourself.
This is why understanding what changes you can do yourself and how your credit report works can help you demystify the metrics behind your credit score and allow you to make proactive changes to improve it.
I’ve written a more in-depth post on how to get an excellent credit score for DIY credit repair where I explain in detail each of the factors that make up a credit score and how to improve them that you may find useful.
Overall, knowing whether 613 is a good or bad credit score will depend on the credit bureaus you are using and also what is causing the score to be lower.
It’s worth remembering that each financial company will do their own checks and won’t completely rely on your credit score to make its decision. This means even with a bad credit score, you may be able to qualify for whatever product you are looking for by excelling in another category such as income or putting down a large deposit to reduce the risk to the lender.
This post is intended for information and guidance only. If you are worried about your credit score, there are various options you have available, although speaking to a qualified financial advisor, or mortgage broker if you’re looking to buy a property may be a good first step.
You may find out that what you were worried about can be avoided with an alternative product or putting plans in place to fix the underlying problem.
Hi, I’m John. I’ve always had a keen interest in Finance, so much so that I’ve made a career out of it! This site is a place where I can share everything I’ve learned as well as give me the excuse to research certain topics.
Check out my about page for more info.