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If you have fair or average credit, you may not qualify for the best credit cards; but you don't have to scrape the bottom of the barrel either. There are plenty of cards designed for your credit level, from rewards to balance transfers to business.
By Brendan Harkness
By Brendan Harkness
Fair or average credit typically refers to a FICO Score 8 in the 580–669 range.
If you have fair or average credit scores, you’ll have access to a fairly diverse spread of credit cards. In many cases, people with fair credit scores may qualify for cards that seem like they’re for better credit, depending on other factors like income.
Aside from our best picks, store credit cards typically have low approval requirements, meaning people with fair or average credit can often qualify. But there are some reasons why you should be careful when applying for and using store cards, as explained below.
Credit builder loans are another helpful tool for building credit, along with or instead of credit cards. These installment loans require you to pay them back before you can actually use them, creating a record of on-time payments.
Terms like “fair credit” are often thrown around without a second thought, and if you’re not versed in the world of credit, it’s easy to assume they’re just vague indicators of one’s creditworthiness.
The fact is that credit score ranges are actually well established. They vary between scoring models, but even so, these ranges tend to be similar across brands. Knowing where your credit stands can make it a lot easier to pick a credit card that’s right for you.
We’ve included base FICO score ranges below to give you a good idea of what terms like “good credit” and “poor credit” really mean. Just remember that your scores alone will never guarantee approval for a given card — other factors, like your income, are also considered.
|Base FICO Score Ranges|
|Rating||Range||Percentage of People*|
*These data are from Experian.
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