This is definitely a case of "your mileage may vary."
I would say the minimum acceptable score is the mid-600s. As long as you're there or higher, you're not going to get soaked for deposits and turned down for every Tom, **bleep** and Harry credit opportunity out there.
I have done some research & have talked to my creditors in the area. A good fico score by minimum means is a 700. An optimum score is from the 720's. And a great score is 750 & above.
For what kind of credit product? Mortgage, car loan, personal loan, credit card, charge card, store card, consumer finance loan? and so forth.
As the others said, 760 at app time is probably all you need, except that your scores swing more wildly at higher levels, so a padding of 20 or 30 (or more!) points can be handy.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit? FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
In perusing some of the other forum sites within myFICO, such as the mortgage and lendor issues forums, some of the lendors offer their perspective that it is not uncommon for them to somethimes look more favorably upon one with a 690, or example, FICO score than one with a 720+ score, after doing a manual review. Let us say, an an extreme example, that Mr 720+ is applying for a mortgage loan of $200K, and his CR shows a string of delinquencies and unpaid COs or CAs that have passed the normal 7 year reporting limit, but nonethelss still show on the CR. But Mr. 690 has never been delinquent, or had any COs or CAs.
Moral of the story is that consumers dont decide, and FICO scores per se, does not decide, what is or is not an acceptable FICO score. Only lendors do. The various rate charts that you see posted based on FICO score ranges are just approximations and generalizations.
That is totally true. In my reading of threads on the mortgage forum, the experts seem to indicate that FICO is more influential on an automatic underwrite than a manual underwrite. If you don't qualify for a good rate via a computer review of your file, then FICO becomes much less of a factor on closer examination.
Which I believe is usually a good thing. If someone carries 40% utility but PIF every month, should they be penalized that they were too naive to continually ask for credit limit increases over the years so that their limits far exceeded their spending?