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FICO credit score requirements for credit card approval

Do you know your credit score, but still don’t understand how “good” it is? Do you wonder if you will be approved for the credit card you’re after? Credit card approvals are based several factors: your length of employment, your family income, and most importantly, your credit history (reflected by your FICO score).

What are the FICO score requirements for credit card approval?
Different credit cards have different minimum FICO credit score requirements for approval. While credit card companies do not disclose their credit requirements, we can estimate credit requirements for a particular card based upon surveys of previous applicants’ experiences applying for the particular credit card. On this site, we rate the FICO score required for each credit card as:

FICO required: Bad or no credit – Unless you have had a recent bankruptcy or currently have several delinquent credit accounts, you should be able to be approved for these credit cards. Banks may alter the terms of the credit offer based on your individual credit history, however. Estimated minimum FICO score: Any.

FICO required: Average credit – Credit cards for borrowers with average credit or a limited credit history are available to you if you not been late on any payments in the last six months and have had at least one credit account open for more than a year. Estimated minimum FICO score: 600.

Related: Can I get a credit card with a credit score between 600-650?

FICO required: Good credit – To be approved for credit cards requiring a good FICO score, borrowers must have verifiable employment, a higher annual income, no more than one late payment on their credit report in the last two years, and not have too much credit in use. Additionally, borrowers meeting the good credit criteria have typically had one or more credit card with a credit line of at least $5,000. Estimated minimum FICO score: 670.

FICO required: Excellent credit – These cards are only available to borrowers with super credit. A high annual income, clean credit history, and low debt utilization are required. Typically people with excellent credit have had a credit card with a credit line of at least $10,000 and have not been late on a payment in over seven years. Estimated minimum FICO score: 720.

You can also see our most recommended cards based upon your actual credit score:

What if my FICO score is okay but falls below 675?
If your FICO score is below 675 but you have not had a late payment in a year or two and do not have a large amount of debt, you may still be able to be approved for a credit card listed with a FICO requirement of “good”. The card company will, however, take other factors, such as your employment and income into consideration.

My FICO score is above 675 and I was denied a credit card. What gives?
Your FICO score is only one requirement credit cards use to decide who gets approved and who gets denied. It is possible, for example, to have a good FICO score but have so much debt that the credit card company will not give you more.

If you have been denied credit, it is a good idea to get a free copy of your credit report to make sure there are no errors on it. Your credit report will also show you why you may have been denied credit and give you an idea of what you can do to improve your score. Check out the many easy ways to review your credit score online.

Credit 101
We’ve broken down the essentials of credit and how it works into a few easy articles. Take five minutes to learn everything you need to know about this powerful financial tool: your credit.

  1. What is a credit score and credit report?
  2. How is my credit score and credit report used?
  3. How do I get good credit?
  4. Why do I have bad credit?
  5. What credit score do I need for a new credit card?
  6. How do I know what my credit score is?

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