500 Credit Score: Good or Bad?

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A 500 credit score is considered bad credit. Your credit score determines whether you qualify for financial products, like credit cards and car loans, and what interest rate you might pay.

In 2019, 4% of Americans had a score lower than 500, according to credit scoring company FICO.

Here’s how a 500 credit score can affect your financial life.

» MORE: What are the credit score ranges?

You may have a tough time getting a loan or card

When your score is 500, you’ll have trouble qualifying for some financial products. You will have to pay the highest rates on loans and credit cards, and you may pay more for car insurance.

The good news is it might not take much to move the needle on your score. Here are some quick ways to improve your credit.

See what powers your credit

Check your credit score for free and learn what factors matter most. Your info updates every week so you can monitor your progress.

Tips to work on your 500 credit score

Here are a few ways to build credit:

  • Apply for a secured credit card. They are easier to qualify for because they require you to place a cash deposit.
  • Get a credit-builder loan or a secured loan, which allows you to build credit and savings at the same time.
  • Ask someone you know with good credit to add you as an authorized user on their credit card.
  • Practice good credit habits. The two most important things are paying all bills on time and using less than 30% of your credit limits.

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