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The only thing you can get from having a credit score of 686.

If you’ve been taking your credit score for granted, now’s the time to start paying attention to it. A credit score is a number that is used by lenders to determine how likely you are to repay a loan. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be approved for a loan with favorable terms.

So, is 686 a good credit score? A credit score of 686 is considered to be a GOOD credit score by FICO® and FAIR by VantageScore. This means that you’re likely to be approved for loans and credit cards with favorable terms.

However, a credit score of 686 could still be better, and there are a few things you can do to improve your credit score, such as paying your bills on time, maintaining a good credit history, and using a credit monitoring service.

With a little work, you can improve your credit score and get the financial opportunities you deserve.

Credit Score Ranges

Your credit scores are numbers calculated by credit bureaus, like FICO® and VantageScore.

According to the credit score model that was developed by Fair Isaac Corporation, also known as FICO®,

  • Excellent: 800 to 850
  • Very Good: 740 to 799
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Poor: 300 to 579

And according to the other scoring model, VantageScore,

  • Excellent– 750 to 850
  • Good– 700 to 749
  • Fair– 650 to 699
  • Poor– 550 to 649
  • Very Poor– 300 to 549

As you can see, although there is a slight difference in the ranges, the 686 credit score is considered “Good” by FICO but “Fair” by VantageScore.

But What Is A Good Credit Score?

The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

As you can see above, there are a few different credit scoring models in use today, and each one has its own definition of a “good” credit score.

For example, FICO® scores range from 300 to 850, while VantageScore 3.0 scores range from 300 to 850.

According to FICO®, a score of 670 or above is considered good, while a score of 800 or above is considered excellent. However, VantageScore considers a score of 700 or above to be good.

Generally speaking, a good credit score is one that will allow you to qualify for the best interest rates on loans and credit cards.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, as your credit score will also depend on other factors, such as your income, employment history, and credit history.

If you’re not sure where your credit score stands, you can check your credit report for free at This website is the only one that is authorized by the federal government to provide free credit reports.

You can also check your credit score for free on a number of websites, such as and

Keep in mind that a good credit score is just one factor in the lending decision. Lenders will also consider your income, employment history, and credit history when making a decision.

So even if you have a good credit score, you may not be approved for a loan or credit card if you don’t meet the other lending criteria.

How Will A 686 Credit Score Affect You

Mortgage, auto, and personal loans are somewhat challenging to get with a 686 credit score.

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    Whether you’re looking for a personal loan, mortgage, auto, or credit card, credit scores in this range can make it difficult for you to get approved for unsecured credit.

    It could even prevent you from renting an apartment or landing specific jobs.

    And if some lenders choose to work with you, they typically charge high fees and steep interest rates.

    But don’t panic; it is not the end of the world.

    Credit repair is one of the best ways to rebuild your credit score and open up more opportunities.

    Credit Card

    If you have fair credit, you likely have access to some unsecured credit cards. Unsecured cards don’t require a security deposit, which is a plus.

    However, these cards may have an annual fee and a high variable APR. Additionally, you might be approved for a credit card with a relatively low credit limit with fair credit.

    Your credit limit is important because it’s directly correlated with your credit utilization rate.

    Fair Credit Score and Rewards Cards

    If you have a fair credit score, you may have difficulty getting approved for a cashback or travel rewards credit card.

    However, you might still find some card that earns a limited amount of cash back on purchases.

    To reap the benefits of top-notch rewards cards, keep working on improving your credit score.

    Auto loan

    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what is a good credit score for a car loan. Credit scores in the fair range may limit your options to loans with higher rates and less favorable terms.

    Bigger Downpayment

    Even if your only options for a car loan come with high-interest rates, a bigger car down payment can help you save in the long term.

    If you’re able to, paying more at the outset means you’ll need to borrow less money and could pay less over the life of the loan. You could also get a lower interest rate with a bigger down payment.

    Get A Co-signer

    A co-signer on your car loan can come with pros and cons. But if you have a trusted friend or family member with good credit who is willing to share the responsibility with you, you may be able to qualify for a better loan.

    Compare Rates

    It’s a good idea to compare loan rates and terms across multiple lenders when looking for a car loan. The rates you may qualify for at a bank, credit union, or with an online lender could be better than what you’re offered at the dealership.

    And shopping around won’t necessarily hurt your credit scores. Depending on the credit-scoring model, any hard inquiries within a certain time period may only count as a single inquiry.

    That period can be up to 45 days, depending on different variables, but shopping within a 14-day window is your best bet for minimal score impact.

    Mortgage rates

    If you’re looking to buy a house and have a “fair” credit score, you may find it difficult to get a mortgage with good terms.

    However, several types of government-backed loans are available that may be easier to get than a conventional loan.

    These options include FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. It’s important to shop around to understand your options and competitive rates in your area.

    Personal loans

    A good credit score is important when it comes to taking out a personal loan. While you might qualify for a personal loan with a fair credit score, you’ll likely be charged a higher interest rate and more fees than if you had a good or excellent credit score.

    Depending on what you need the loan for, the proposition could be less desirable. For example, if you want to consolidate credit card debt with a personal loan, the interest rate with your new loan may not be low enough to save you money in the long run.

    On the other hand, if you’re using a personal loan to finance a major purchase, you should consider whether it’s something you need now or can wait to buy.

    If you can wait and spend some time building your credit, you might be able to qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate.

    Factors That Led To 686 Credit Score

    Your 686 credit score did not just happen by itself. There are past actions that you may have done or did not do that fed your credit score.

    Five main factors can affect your credit score, payment history, amounts owed, credit history length, credit mix, and new credit.

    Therefore, the following common actions can hurt your credit score:

    • Late or missed payments
    • Accounts in collection
    • Little to no credit at all
    • Using too much available credit or maxing out your credit card
    • Applying for a lot of credit cards in a short time
    • Not having a good mix of installment loans and revolving credit
    • Forclosure
    • Bankruptcy
    • Repossession
    • Charged-off
    • Settled-accounts

    What Does Not Count Towards Your 668 Credit Score?

    According to Experian, the following do not affect your credit score.

    • Marital status
    • Disabilities
    • Race or ethnicity
    • Religious beliefs or affiliations
    • Political affiliations

    Expired financial pieces of information are also not included.

    • Chapter 7 bankruptcy: 10 years
    • Chapter 13 bankruptcy: 7 years
    • Collection accounts: 7 years
    • Late or missed payments: 7 years
    • Closed credit accounts in good standing: 10 years

    How to Improve 686 Credit Score

    No matter the reason for your 686 credit score, you can immediately start improving how you handle your credit, leading to credit-score improvements.

    There is no one way to build your credit; it will all depend on your credit profile.

    Therefore, it’s always good to grab a copy of your free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to see the reports about you.

    1| Evaluate Your Credit Report

    Pull your credit report and dispute all negative, and get harmful items removed. 

    2| Get A Secured Credit Card

    A secured credit card is one of the best ways to rebuild bad credit.

    You place a deposit in the total amount of your spending limit. The deposit reduces the issuer’s risk, making it possible to get approved no matter how low your score might be. 

    3| Pay On Time

    Making timely payments and avoiding late or missed payments favor credit-score improvements.

    Use automatic payments, phone alarms, and other automated tools to help you remember. 

    4| Avoid High Credit Utilization Rates

    You can help your utilization rate by keeping your balances low, which is below 30% of your credit limit. If you can, pay off your balance each month.

    5| Consider A Credit-Builder Loan

    This type of loan is available from credit unions and comes in several forms. The most common one is where the credit union deposits the money you borrow in a savings account. Your money is inaccessible to you, but it earns interest.

    You can access the funds plus the interest once you have paid off the loan. It can be a great way to build credit if you make on-time payments and if the lender reports to all three national bureaus.

    6| Establish A Solid Credit Mix

    Not that you want to be in more debt, but a mix of revolving credit and installment debt can help boost your credit score.

    7| Pay Down Your Debt

    Create a debt payoff plan and start paying it off if you have outstanding debt. Lowering your debt-to-income ratio can have a significant impact on your credit score.

     According to Investopedia, lenders prefer a debt-to-income ratio lower than 36%, with no more than 28% of that debt going towards servicing a mortgage or rent payment.

    7| Reduce Hard Credit Inquiries

    Although it causes a short-term negative effect on your score, new-credit activity can still contribute up to 10% of your overall credit score. Keep hard credit inquiries to less than 3 in 24 months if you can.

    8| Give It Time

    Your credit score does not improve overnight. Be patient. The items that are suppressing your score need time to fall off.

    Hard inquiries fall off in two years while missed payments of collection accounts in 7 years. Bankruptcies can take up to 10 years.

    Final Thoughts On 686 Credit Score

    Having a 686 credit score is not bad but it’s not the best either. It’s still possible to improve your creditworthiness and, as a result, improve your credit score.

    There are many things you can do to improve your creditworthiness, which will lead to a better credit score.

    And no matter what your credit score is, it’s also a good idea to check your score regularly. Knowing and understanding your credit scores and credit reports can help you make the right decisions in your financial journey.

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    Is 686 A Good Credit Score?