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Is a 666 Credit Score Good or Bad?
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While some people might have superstitious reactions to the number 666, in the world of credit scores, this three-digit number is considered fair rather than bad. If you have a 666 credit score, just improving it by even a little could help you qualify for much more favorable terms on many loans. It could also raise your odds of being approved for credit cards with features like rewards and low APR rates.
In this guide:
666 credit score: Key findings
- 1 in every 250 Americans has a credit score of 666, according to anonymized data from a 2019 LendingTree study.
- The city with the highest percentage of consumers with a 666 score is Oklahoma City, where 0.71% of consumers sport this score. At the other end of the spectrum, only 0.1% of consumers in Buffalo, N.Y., have a credit score of 666.
- Consumers with a 666 credit score carry higher balances than average for all types of debt. They carry an average balance of $10,298 on their credit cards — 59% more than the average borrower signed up for LendingTree.
- Increasing a 666 credit score even slightly can result in much more attractive loan rate offers. The difference is most stark among personal loans: According to recent LendingTree data, increasing a 666 credit score by 20 points can reduce the average APR of a personal loan from 24.74% to 19.04%.
- Rates for other loan products improve with slightly higher scores as well. Plus, a higher credit score will have a greater likelihood of being approved for a balance transfer or rewards credit card, many of which require a good credit score (often considered to be 670 or higher).
- Note that a 666 credit score isn’t very different from a score of 665 or 667. Some uneasiness about this score is really just based on the evil properties ascribed to the number in the Book of Revelation. But on the other hand, it’s as good an example as any for discussing how “meh” credit affects your finances and how it can be improved.
Is 666 a good credit score? Not really
|% of Americans with this score||21%||25%||21%||17%||16%|
A 666 credit score is usually considered a “fair” credit score. It’s lower than the average credit score of 704 as measured by FICO, and also below the 675 average as measured by VantageScore.
As a consequence, consumers with that credit score (or similar) are usually borrowing at higher interest rates than those with good or excellent credit scores. For example, the average lowest APR offer available for a personal loan for someone with a 666 credit score or thereabouts is 34.71% (for June 2021). This compares to an average lowest APR offer of 9.30% for those with credit scores of 760 or above. As for auto loans, a 666 score correlates with a typical lowest offer of 9.15%, versus 4.26% for those with credit scores better than 760.
You can get more details on how offered loan rates vary by credit score in our LendingTree offer analysis.
Reasons why you may have a 666 credit score
The amount a borrower owes is a major determinant of one’s credit score, second only to making on-time payments. So, it isn’t surprising that borrowers who signed up for LendingTree with a 666 score have higher debt balances than the overall population.
In particular, their credit card balances are much higher: Their average balance of $10,298 exceeds the average credit card balance of $6,479, based on an anonymized sample taken in October 2019. They also have higher balances on auto, student and personal loans.
Another reason you might have a 666 credit score is because of late payments. Of those with a FICO credit score of 666, 41% have late payments that are 30 days overdue. In order to improve your credit score, be sure to pay your bills on time and settle up any past-due payments.
Read on to learn more about how you can increase your credit score in order to receive better loan terms and rates…
How to improve your 666 credit score
Stress about debt and creditworthiness is an all-too-common experience. Here are a few ways you can polish up your 666 credit score:
- Tips for raising credit scores: If you want to buckle down and raise your credit score yourself, there are several approaches you can take. Be sure you’re paying your bills on time, knock down on your debt to improve your credit utilization rate and check your credit report for any discrepancies. Other methods include transferring your credit card debt to a card with a 0% intro APR or requesting to increase your credit card’s spending limit.
- Credit repair: If you choose to go the credit repair route, you can either work on it yourself or hire a firm to help you. A credit repair company can advise you on how to best improve your credit profile and help you dispute any errors that come up on your report. While you should be wary of credit repair scams, legitimate credit repair companies are overseen by the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA).
- Debt consolidation: If you’re overwhelmed by what you owe to lenders, you may qualify for a debt consolidation loan. When applying for this loan, many lending institutions will only perform a soft credit pull, which will not impact your credit score (like a hard credit inquiry might). Be sure to compare APR rates and loan terms, particularly to your current ones, before agreeing to take out a debt-consolidation loan.
What can you do with a fair credit score? Your options
While a 666 credit score may not be ideal, a fair credit score won’t put an end to your financial goals. You may still be able to access acceptable terms and rates from lenders should you need quick access to money.
Personal loan with fair credit score
An unsecured personal loan for fair credit isn’t without its downsides, but it may be a feasible option for you if you’re trying to pay down other debt or are in a financial emergency.
If you have a 666 credit score, you may not get the best APR rates or loan terms, so you may want to work on improving your score by a few points before applying. Below is the average APR rate for borrowers:
|Personal loan statistics by borrower credit score|
|Credit score range||Average APR||Average loan amount|
|Less than 560||156.11%||$2,799|
Source: LendingTree customer data for Q1 2021.
Credit cards for fair credit score
If you’re in need of some extra cash, you may also want to explore credit cards for fair credit as an option. Even with a 666 credit score, you can still find credit cards with cashback rewards and zero annual fees.
Be sure to research APR rates and keep in mind that if you improve your credit score by a few points before applying, you may be able to qualify for even better rates. Like with loans, some credit card companies offer you the opportunity to apply using a soft credit pull so as not to impact your credit score.
Why it’s important to check your progress
While your 666 credit score might not be where you want it at, with some hard work and consistency, you can improve your credit profile to make it easier to obtain loans with favorable rates and terms.
Keeping an eye on your creditworthiness is a good financial habit to get into. It will help you be proactive in terms of avoiding any errors on your credit report, and it can also help motivate you to handle debt carefully.
You can track your progress by using credit reporting tools that keep up with the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. While your score may vary depending on the credit scoring model that is used — FICO or VantageScore are generally the most common ones — there shouldn’t be any large differences. If there are, be sure to review your credit report to see what discrepancies might show up.
Using an anonymized sample of over 1 million LendingTree users from their October 2019 credit reports, researchers calculated the percentage of users in the 50 largest U.S. metros with a 666 credit score and compared their average debt levels to the national average for credit cards and auto, student and personal loans.
LendingTree is a free credit monitoring service available to everyone, regardless of their debt histories, or whether they’ve used LendingTree platforms to pursue loans. It currently has over 12 million active users.