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How Your Credit Score Affects Interest Rates

Posted By Jim On 10/02/2008 @ 9:26 am In Credit | 11 Comments

I was taking advantage of a promotion by myFICO and Equifax that let you see your credit score for free (it was a promotion for the first 10,000, sorry , but it was also no strings from what I could tell, I already had an Equifax login from checking my credit history for free annually, so it took 10 seconds) when I saw these charts comparing credit scores to APRs on various loans, here’s one for a 30 year fixed mortgage:

Credit Score 30 Yr. Mortgage
760-850 5.766%
700-759 5.988%
680-699 6.165%
660-679 6.379%
640-659 6.809%
620-639 7.355%
600-619 9.158%
580-599 9.744%
550-579 10.117%
500-549 10.502%



As you can see, the difference between a 759 score and a 760 score is .222% on your 30-year fixed mortgage loan. If you have a $100,000 loan, the 0.222% turns into an extra $2,149.71 in interest over the course of the loan. OK, so that’s not a big deal right? But if you could get your credit score up from 639 to 640, you drop your interest rate from 7.355% to 6.809%, a difference of 0.546% (worth $5,509.24 on that same loan). If the loan gets higher, you’re talking about real money here.

That’s why it’s important to know what your credit score is before you go out and get a loan and why you try your hardest to improve your credit score. While I’ve never used it, the credit score experts over at Credit Boards [3] seem to love myFICO [4].

One note of caution, your interest rate isn’t determined solely on your credit score. There are other factors involved but the credit score is an integral part of that equation.

Here were some other rates (for comparisons sake):

15 Year Fixed Conforming Mortgages

Credit Score 15 Yr. Mortgage
760-850 5.620%
700-759 5.842%
680-699 6.019%
660-679 6.233%
640-659 6.663%
620-639 7.209%
600-619 9.308%
580-599 9.894%
550-579 10.267%
500-549 10.652%

36 Month New Auto Loan

Credit Score 36 Mo. New Auto
720-850 6.235%
690-719 7.751%
660-689 8.863%
620-689 11.265%
590-619 14.703%
500-589 15.582%

10 Year Fixed Home Equity Loan

Credit Score 10 Yr. Home Eq.
740-850 7.920%
720-739 8.220%
700-719 8.720%
670-699 9.495%
640-669 10.995%
620-639 12.245%


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[4] myFICO: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/myfico.php?tag=whyScoreMatters

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