At a Glance
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but a credit score of 500 is bad. If your credit score is low, you will face difficulty getting approved for any credit cards, home loans, auto loans, mortgages, insurance, etc. If some lender approves your loan or provides you with a credit card, either you will be paying an exorbitant interest, or your credit limit will be minimal.
A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 300-850, and is determined based on factors such as repayment history, tenure of your credit history, and the total amount of debt on your credit report. The higher the number, the better the credit score, and vice versa. Therefore, if you have a credit score of 500, then yes, it is a poor credit score. Applicants with this credit score of 500 may require to shell out extra money or put deposits on their cards. Getting approved for an unsecured credit card will also be difficult. Many lenders will refuse to do business with borrowers whose credit score falls in the ‘very poor’ range, which translates to unfavorable credit.
Now that we have explained what can happen when your credit score dips low, let’s dig deeper.
Is 500 Credit Score Good or Bad?
There’s no sugarcoating it. A credit score of 500 is bad. FICO and VantageScore (the companies that produce the leading credit scoring models) have placed 500 in the low credit score range.
What Impacts your 500 Credit Score?
There can be multiple factors affecting your credit score to be 500. Therefore, understanding these can help you focus on your credit score-building efforts. Some factors affecting your credit score are:
- Public information
- Credit Utilization Ratio
- Late or missed payments
- Length of credit history
- Total debt and credit mix
- Recent credit activity on your account
If your credit report reflects bankruptcies or other similar public records, your credit score can take a massive hit. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain in your credit file for up to 10 years, and a Chapter 13 will stay for seven years. Even though your credit score may increase before the bankruptcy report disappears from your record, there is a high possibility that lenders might refuse to work with you because of bankruptcy billing.
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 500, 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 500, 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 500 mean for your Life and Finances?
When your credit score hits the ‘very poor’ bucket, you will have difficulty qualifying for personal loans and credit cards. Even if you do get approved, you will incur high interest.
Here’s what your life will look like with a credit score of 500:
- You will pay higher interest rates and loan fee
- You might face issues getting a job, apartment, and other essentials like insurance, utilities, cable, cell phone connections
Can you get a Credit Card with a 500 Credit Score?
Yes, you can get the Azpire Credit Builder Card to build your credit score from 500. While it is usually difficult to get a credit card with a low credit score of 500, 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 500 Credit Score?
Your low 500 credit score will gradually rise to a fair (580-669) to a good (670-739) rating. Although there is no quick way to raise your credit score from 500 to 700, you can take the following steps to raise it from that point and into the fair or good credit score range:
- 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 500 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 500 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:
This usually comes with a small credit limit, often only a few hundred thousand dollars, and you have to put down a deposit in the total amount of that limit. As you use this card and make regular, timely payments, the lender reports those activities to the national credit bureaus. Your credit behavior is recorded in your credit files and reflected in your FICO score.
Look no further if you want to improve your 500 credit score by applying for a secured credit card.
Folks, meet the
Zolve Azpire Card
What is it?The Zolve Azpire card helps you build credit using your own money. It is a credit builder card that helps you start building your credit score from the first transaction. It is available to all, even if your credit score is as low as 500.
We record every swipe of your Zolve Azpire card, and by the month’s end, we add up all the transactions for the month and report it to the bureaus so that your credit score gets built for a better financial future.
Establish a credit mix:
The FICO scoring model favors users with multiple credit accounts, along with a mix of different types of loans, including installment loans like mortgages, car, and home equity loans.
It can be depressing to learn that your credit score has fallen to as low as 500, but this does not necessarily imply you cannot improve. You must start somewhere if you want to raise your 500 credit score. Your access to more credit alternatives, loans, waived fees and terms, and lower interest rates may increase if you raise your credit score to the fair range (580–669).