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New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎09-20-2008

How bad is a 659 credit score?

How BAD is a 659 credit score? I only have a few things wrong... but they look bad. I didn't know there was a 2003 tax lien on my record, just found out, it's paid but it'll be on for years. Then a minor $28 deal I didn't know about either that's showing up that I'll dispute. And I was in the middle of a move last year and paid a student load 60 days late they say. Plus there's some stupid bad dept that I really paid that I need to write a letter about. Other then that my credit is good. I have lines withe credit cards, always pay, etc. This fico thing says the best way to improve is to make sure my credit cards are down to 10-20% of limits but I run a business a sometimes need more. I guess my best bet is saving up more for a down payment on a house, or going through relatives. Does this score mean I'm shot when I go to buy a house or will I even qualify?
Established Contributor
Posts: 1,019
Registered: ‎04-01-2008

Re: How bad is a 659 credit score?

Tax liens look bad. Paid is better, though not for scoring. They stay on for 7 years after paid.  They do get less as time goes by.
The little debt ($28) who is this with. You might try a pay for delete. From what I've learned, always DV before PFD, though. Have you read Tuscani's Credit 101? (Awesome info!)
As far as credit cards for optimum points:
Carry -0- balance on half or more of cards
below 9% is best, but try not to allow all to post -0- balances!
If you have to keep a balance because of business, the higher your credit limits, the better! More cards or higher credit limits help with this. Read the forums, many give advice on which creditors do soft pulls for credit line increases.
Can you make more payments per cycle to offset what reports?
As far as mortgages, you're really better off in the mortgage forums (also great advice Smiley Wink )
With your score(s) you could probably get a loan, but with creditors tightening up, you'll probably have to have 5-20% down, unless you went FHA. The 659 score--is this Equifax? Is this a score pulled here?
If you google discounts for scores here, you would be best served by purchasing all three. Lenders typically go with your 'middle score' for basis of mortagage.

1/28/14 EQ 811 9/11/15, EX 821, TU 817 on 6/13/2014

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,071
Registered: ‎05-17-2007

Re: How bad is a 659 credit score?

[ Edited ]

newfrontier wrote:
Plus there's some stupid bad dept that I really paid

Each debt showing unpaid in negative status is a killer for a credit score as of 9/2008. While FICO 08 might not care so much the current scoring formula can lower your score in some cases the same as if you had $5 in negatives or $200,000 in negatives. It's not the dollar amount but the number of negatives. The actual debt sometimes does and doesn't hurt, that is another part. Just having a negative "negative" on your CR counts!!!

659 is the break point between prime and subprime. 660 will open lots more doors. However 700-740 will save you LOTS of money.

From what I read in your post it seems better to work on removing negative inaccuracies and PFDs before doing anything else. Focus all energy in to that first. If you have time left over apply to building credit. It's much easier to raise scores by removing what is bringing them down than to build them up.

As far as carrying balances on Credit Cards. It's ok to use them for business and charge up to the limit... The secret is to PIF 3-4 days before the statement cut off date. This is NOT the due date. Your statement has a monthly cycle. From start to finish. If you charge during this cycle you should also make a payment in this cycle so the CC company reports a smaller balance than what you charged. Revolving debt is another killer for credit scores.

Message Edited by ilovepizza on 09-21-2008 02:23 PM
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,126
Registered: ‎03-25-2008

Re: How bad is a 659 credit score?

If you can get your 659 to 680 via reduced balances on a smaller number of cards (not every month, just in the period you are going to buy a home) then you should be fine as far as interest rates, especially if you go FHA. I recommend you ask on the mortgage board as they are the real experts as far as home loans go.
659 is below average credit but it is not a nightmare by any stretch of the imagination. Your history within the last two years is most important.

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