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What is considered a good credit score? How often is this score updated?


Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with a median in 2010 of 723. That means that an equal number of Americans have scores above and below that level. The same borrower can be given different scores by credit card issuers and mortgage lenders. Scores are updated whenever the component information is updated, typically when new credit is sought or extended, payments are made or not made and so on.

A good credit score, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Lenders in the past – meaning before the housing and mortgage markets collapsed – often lumped borrowers into two groups with 620 as the dividing line separating prospective customers offered better or worse loan conditions. The 2008-2009 crisis has served to concentrate bankers’ minds. Financial institutions that make loans issued under Federal Housing Authority guidelines generally insist that borrowers have scores at or above 640. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two quasi-government organizations that back mortgages, are thought to charge more for loans to anyone with a credit score below 740 who borrows more than 75 percent of the value of a property.

-Conrad de Aenlle