A credit score of 690 is within the range of good credit. If you are shopping for a personal loan and your credit score is this high then you are in good shape.
If you have a credit score of 690, lenders are more likely to approve your loan application. This does not guarantee approval as other factors come into play, including your income. That being said, a high credit score is a big plus in your favor, and 690 is way above the credit score you need for a personal loan.
You can also benefit from lower interest rates with this score, which makes a significant difference in the cost of your loan. Keep in mind that you may not be able to take advantage of the absolute lowest rates, as these are often only available to consumers with a credit score of at least 720 or 740.
To get the best possible deal on your credit score, here’s what you need to do before and during the application process.
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Make sure to check your FICO® score
Before making any loan purchases, you should know that you are checking the right type of credit score. There are two credit scoring systems:
Most of the free credit score tools that you can find online provide your VantageScore. But over 90% of major lenders review your FICO® score.
Your score can be very different under these two systems. For example, my FICO® score is typically 30 to 40 points lower than my VantageScore.
Use a free credit score tool that provides your FICO® score so you don’t have any nasty surprises when applying for a loan. Discover® Credit Scorecard and Experian CreditWorks are two tools that provide your FICO® scoreSM Basic.
Examine your credit report
Your credit report contains all of the information used to determine your credit score. There are three credit bureaus that compile these reports and calculate consumer credit scores:
Request credit reports from the three bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. You are legally entitled to a free annual report from each office, although you can currently receive a free weekly credit report until April 2022.
Check the accuracy of your reports. If you notice any credit report errors, go to the website of the office that issued it and file a dispute. Any mistake could lower your credit score. Having them withdrawn can increase your score and help you get a lower personal loan interest rate.
Rate shopping involves checking your potential loan rates with multiple lenders, and this is the most important part of applying for a loan. Even a small difference in your interest rate could save you a lot of money.
It is much easier to assess rates now as so many lenders allow you to check rates online. Start by making a list of lenders with the best personal loan deals. It is good to check the rates with at least five lenders.
Visit each lender’s site and choose the option to check the rates. To provide the rates, lenders usually only have to perform a soft credit check on you, which does not affect your credit score.
Here are the figures to consult for each lender:
- Annual percentage rate (APR): This is the amount you will pay each year in fees. It includes the interest rate, origination fees, and all other fees included in the loan. The APR is therefore a better way to assess the total cost of a loan than the interest rate alone.
- Loan term and monthly payment: The loan term is the amount of time you have to pay off your loan, and most personal loans have terms ranging from 12 to 60 months. If you go for a longer term, you’ll have a lower monthly payment, but you’ll also pay more interest overall.
Once you have the rates from all the lenders, you can choose one with a term and monthly payment that works for you at the lowest APR available.
Assuming you have a stable income, a credit score of 690 should be more than enough for a personal loan. If you have some spare time, it may be worthwhile to increase your credit score first. By increasing your score, you could benefit from lower rates and pay even less. But if you need a loan right away, you should still be able to get a reasonable interest rate with a score of 690.