At a Glance
A low credit score of 396 can tell lenders if you've previously had trouble making credit payments or whether you're just getting started with credit. As a result, you might have trouble getting approved for a credit card or loan without having to pay exorbitant interest rates until you have the chance to improve your credit.
If you're looking for a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or mortgage and have a credit score of 396, the process will be considerably more difficult and complicated. A credit score of 396 can indicate recent financial problems or a lack of credit history. Candidates with a 396 credit score could need to pay more or make deposits on their credit cards. It will also be challenging to get approved for an unsecured credit card. When a borrower's credit score is in the "extremely bad" category, which corresponds to unfavorable credit, many lenders will decline to work with them.
Now that we've discussed what can occur if your credit score drops, let's delve deeper.
Is 396 Credit Score Good or Bad?
Unfortunately, a credit score of 396 is a bad credit score. FICO and VantageScore (the companies that produce the leading credit scoring models) have placed 396 in the low credit score range.
What Impacts your 396 Credit Score?
Numerous reasons may be at play in your credit score of 396. Therefore, being aware of these can help you concentrate on raising your credit score. Your credit score is affected, among other things, by:
- Public information
- Credit Utilization Ratio
- Late or missed payments
- Length of credit history
- Total debt and credit mix
- Recent credit activity on your account
Your credit score may suffer significantly if your credit report lists bankruptcies or other similar public data. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, whereas a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts seven. Lenders may decline to cooperate with you because of your bankruptcy billing even if your credit score may rise before the bankruptcy report is removed from your record.
Credit Utilization Ratio:
To calculate the Credit Utilization Ratio on a Credit Card, you must divide the outstanding balance by the card’s borrowing limit and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. To calculate the overall utilization ratio, calculate the balances on all your Credit Cards and divide by the sum of borrowing limits. Keeping your utilization below 30% of your available credit is usually recommended.
Late or Missed payments:
Your credit score will significantly hit if you miss your credit card payment. So if you see that your credit score has fallen to 396, you should look into how many late or missed payments have happened from your end. Paying your bills consistently is the most critical thing to do to improve your credit score, as it accounts for 35% of your FICO score.
Length of Credit History:
Along with other things, the length of your credit history is also a detriment to your credit score. The number of years you have been a credit user can influence up to 15% of your FICO score. NTC (New to Credit) users must be patient and careful to avoid destructive credit behaviors.
Total Debt and Credit mix:
The FICO credit usually favors users with multiple credit accounts and revolving and installment credit. If you have only one kind of credit account and your credit score is 396, it might help if you broaden your credit portfolio. Remember that credit mix and total debt make up 10% of your FICO score.
Recent Credit activity:
If you are someone who keeps applying for new loans and credit cards, your credit score might take a hit. Some companies trigger a check known as a hard inquiry when you apply for loans or credit cards. What happens during the hard inquiry is that the lender obtains your credit score to determine if you can get the credit line or not. Hard inquiries might drop your credit score by a few points, but it rebounds within a few months if you keep up with your credit card bills. New credit activity can account for up to 10% of your FICO scores.
What does a Credit Score of 396 mean for your Life and Finances?
When your credit rating falls into the "extremely low" category, it will be difficult for you to get approved for credit cards and personal loans. Even if you are authorized, the interest rate will be hefty.
With a credit score of 396, your life will be as follows:
- You will incur greater borrowing fees and interest rates
- You may experience difficulties securing employment, housing, and other necessities, including insurance, utilities, cable, and cell phone connections
Can you get a Credit Card with a 396 Credit Score?
Yes, you can apply for the Azpire Credit Builder Card to build your credit score from 396. While it is usually difficult to get a credit card with a low credit score of 396, it does not translate to financial suicide. The Zolve Azpire Card, a secured credit card, is available to all, even if you fall under NTC (New to Credit). One of the best ways to rebuild your credit score is to apply for this secured credit card.
How to Improve your 396 Credit Score?
Your low credit score will gradually rise from 396 to a fair (580-669) to a good (670-739) rating. There is no quick way to raise your credit score from 396 to 700, but you can take the following steps to raise it from 396 to the fair or good credit score bucket instead:
- Paying your bills on time
- Avoiding high credit utilization
- Debt management plan
- Credit builder loan
- Use a secured credit card
- Establish a credit mix
Paying your bills on time:
The holy grail of improving your credit score is to pay your bills on time. If your credit score is 396 and you are looking for ways to increase your credit score, this is the way to go.
Avoid high credit utilization rate:
No matter how many accounts you have, try keeping your credit utilization to 30% to avoid lowering your credit score.
Debt management plan:
If you're in trouble with your credit card bills, a debt management plan can come in handy. You need to work with a non-profit credit-counseling agency to work out a manageable repayment schedule. If this sounds too extreme, you can consult a credit counselor to improve your 396 credit score.
Credit builder loan:
Multiple credit unions offer these small loans designed to help NTC users build their credit. These loans help you build credit if you maintain the stipulated payment behavior.
Apply for a secured credit card:
These often have low credit limits, sometimes just a few hundred thousand dollars, and require a deposit equal to the maximum in full. The lender records your use of this card and your timely, regular payments to the three major credit bureaus. Your credit files contain information about your credit conduct, which is reflected in your credit score report.
Look no further if you want to improve your 396 credit score by applying for a secured credit card.
Folks, meet the
Zolve Azpire Card
What is it?You can improve your credit using your own money with the Zolve Azpire card. It is a credit builder card that enables you to raise your credit score as soon as you make a purchase. Everyone can get it, even if their credit score is 396.
Every swipe of your Zolve Azpire Card is recorded, and at the end of the month, we sum up all the transactions and report them to the credit bureaus to raise your credit score and improve your financial future.
Establish a credit mix:
The FICO score model rewards people who have a variety of credit accounts and a range of loans, including installment loans like mortgages, auto loans, and home equity loans.
Even though it can be depressing to learn that your credit score has dropped to 396, you can still raise it. You must start somewhere if you want to raise your 396 credit score. You could access more credit alternatives, loans, reduced fees, and terms, along with lower interest rates, if you raise your credit score to the fair range (580–669).