503 Credit Score: Is It Good or Bad?

Oct 21, 2022 · 10 min read

At a Glance

Your 503 credit score indicates that you have faced difficulties paying off your debt or have made late payments. It could also indicate that you may have suffered bankruptcy or foreclosure on your property. Since 503 is a low credit score, you might face difficulties getting a credit card or loan approval without incurring high-interest rates until you have the chance to build your credit.

Having a credit score of 503 will make things even more complex and complicated if you are looking for a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or mortgage. A 503 credit score might signify past credit difficulty or a lack of credit history. Applicants with this credit score of 503 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 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 503 Credit Score Good or Bad?

Unfortunately, a credit score of 503 is a bad credit score. FICO and VantageScore (the companies that produce the leading credit scoring models) have placed 503 in the low credit score range.

What Impacts your 503 Credit Score?

There can be multiple factors affecting your credit score to be 503. 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

Public Information


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.

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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 503, 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 503, 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.

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What does a Credit Score of 503 mean for your Life and Finances?

If your credit score hits the "very bad" bucket, you'll have trouble qualifying for personal loans and credit cards.

Here’s what your life will look like with a credit score of 503:

  • 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
  • You will also see that your financial health is staying stagnant

Can you get a Credit Card with a 503 Credit Score?

Yes, you can get the Azpire Credit Builder Card to build your credit score from 503. Getting a credit card with a score as low as 503 is quite difficult, but it is not impossible. A secure credit card, the Zolve Azpire card is available to everyone, even if you are NTC (New to Credit). One of the best ways to recover your credit score is to apply for this secure credit card.

How to Improve your 503 Credit Score?

Changing your poor credit score from 503 to a fair (580-669) to a good (670-739) is gradual. There is no shortcut to increasing your credit score from 503 to 700, but you can do the following things to improve your credit score from 503 to reach the fair or good credit score bucket:

  • 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 503 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 503 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 typically has a low credit limit, perhaps just a few hundred thousand dollars, and requires a deposit equal to the full credit limit. 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 FICO score.

Look no further if you want to improve your 503 credit score by applying for a secured credit card.

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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 503.

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


Users with numerous credit accounts and a variety of loans, including installment loans like mortgages, auto loans, and home equity loans, are favored by the FICO scoring algorithm.

Even though it can be depressing to learn that your credit score has dropped to 503, you can still raise it. You must start somewhere if you want to raise your 503 credit score. You could be able to access more credit alternatives, loans, reduced fees, and terms, along with lower interest rates, if you raise your 503 credit score to the fair range (580–669).

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