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653 Credit Score: Understanding, Leveraging, and Improving Your Score

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  • Post last modified:July 7, 2024

A credit score is a vital financial metric that impacts various aspects of your financial life. If you have a 653 credit score, you’re in a unique position on the credit spectrum. This score, while not excellent, offers both opportunities and challenges. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what a 653 credit score means for you, its implications, and how you can make the most of it or improve it.

Skale Money Key Takeaways

  • A 653 credit score is considered fair and sits at the higher end of the fair credit range.
  • This score may limit some financial opportunities but still allows access to many credit products.
  • Improving your 653 credit score can lead to better interest rates and loan terms.
  • Consistent, responsible credit habits are key to maintaining and improving your score.

What Determines Your Credit Score?

Your 653 credit score is determined by several key factors. Understanding these can help you maintain or improve your score.

  • Key factors influencing credit scores:
  • Payment history
  • Credit utilization
  • Length of credit history
  • Credit mix
  • Recent credit inquiries
FactorWeightImpact on 653 Score
Payment History35%Significant
Credit Utilization30%Moderate
Length of History15%Moderate
Credit Mix10%Low
Recent Inquiries10%Low

Tips and advice:

  • Focus on improving your payment history and reducing credit utilization to boost your 653 score.
  • Avoid opening multiple new credit accounts in a short period to minimize the impact on your score.

What Does It Mean to Have a 653 Credit Score?

A 653 credit score falls within the “fair” range of most credit scoring models. This score indicates that you’ve managed your credit reasonably well, but there’s room for improvement.

  • Characteristics of a 653 credit score:
  • Considered fair by most lenders
  • May have some negative items on credit report
  • Likely to qualify for many credit products, but not at the best rates
Score RangeClassification653 Score Falls Here
740-799Very Good

Tips and advice:

  • Understand that a 653 credit score is not bad, but improving it can offer significant benefits. Aim for higher credit scores like 645 credit scores.
  • Regularly check your credit report to understand what factors are influencing your 653 score.

What Does a 653 Credit Score Get You?

A 653 credit score offers a mix of opportunities and limitations in the financial world.

  • Opportunities and limitations with a 653 score:
  • Access to many credit products
  • Higher interest rates compared to good or excellent scores
  • May require larger down payments or deposits
ProductApproval Odds with 653 Score
Secured Credit CardHigh
Unsecured Credit CardModerate to High
Personal LoanModerate
Auto LoanModerate to High

Tips and advice:

  • Shop around for credit offers, as some lenders may offer better terms for your 653 score.
  • Consider secured credit products to build your credit further.

With a 653 credit score, you have access to various credit card options.

  • Types of credit cards available:
  • Secured credit cards
  • Unsecured credit cards for fair credit
  • Some rewards credit cards
Card TypeAPR RangeAnnual FeeRewards

Tips and advice:

  • Compare offers from multiple issuers to find the best terms for your 653 score.
  • Consider a secured card if you’re having trouble qualifying for unsecured options.

Personal loans are available for those with a 653 credit score, though terms may vary.

  • Personal loan options and terms:
  • Online lenders
  • Credit unions
  • Peer-to-peer lending platforms
Lender TypeTypical APR RangeLoan Amounts
Credit Union10-18%$500-$50,000
P2P Platform6-36%$1,000-$40,000

Tips and advice:

  • Compare APRs, fees, and terms from multiple lenders.
  • Consider improving your credit score before applying to get better rates.

Auto Loans with a 653 Credit Score

A 653 credit score can get you approved for an auto loan, but rates may be higher than for those with good credit.

  • Auto loan possibilities and considerations:
  • New and used car loans available
  • Higher interest rates compared to good credit scores
  • Larger down payment may be required
Loan TypeAverage APRTypical Loan Term
New Car7-13%36-72 months
Used Car9-15%24-60 months

Tips and advice:

  • Shop around for the best rates, including at credit unions and online lenders.
  • Consider making a larger down payment to secure better terms.
  • Aim for higher credit scores like 685 credit scores

Mortgages and Home Loans with a 653 Credit Score

With a 653 credit score, you may qualify for certain mortgage programs, but terms may not be optimal.

  • Mortgage options for 653 credit score:
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans (if eligible)
  • Some conventional loans
Loan TypeMinimum ScoreTypical Interest Rate
FHA5800.5-1% above prime
VANo minimum0.5-1% above prime
Conventional6201-2% above prime

Tips and advice:

  • Work on improving your credit score to access better mortgage rates.
  • Save for a larger down payment to offset the impact of your 653 score.

Student Loans with a 653 Credit Score

A 653 credit score shouldn’t significantly impact federal student loan options but may affect private loans.

  • Federal and private student loan options:
  • Federal Direct Loans (credit score not considered)
  • Federal PLUS Loans (requires no adverse credit history)
  • Private student loans (credit score impacts approval and terms)
Loan TypeCredit Check?Typical Interest Rate
Federal DirectNoFixed by government
Federal PLUSYes (limited)Fixed by government
PrivateYes5-13% variable

Tips and advice:

  • Exhaust federal loan options before considering private loans.
  • Consider a cosigner for private loans to potentially get better rates.

How to Improve a 653 Credit Score

Improving your 653 credit score is achievable with the right strategies and patience.

  • Strategies for boosting your score:
  • Pay all bills on time, every time
  • Reduce credit card balances
  • Avoid applying for new credit unnecessarily
  • Keep old credit accounts open
ActionPotential Impact
Pay down credit card debt+20 to +40 points
Correct credit report errors+20 to +100 points
Become an authorized user+20 to +50 points
Increase credit limits+20 to +30 points

Tips and advice:

  • Focus on the two biggest factors: payment history and credit utilization.
  • Be patient; significant improvements to your 653 score may take several months.
  • Aim for higher credit scores like 759 credit scores

Compare Debt Settlement Companies

If you’re struggling with debt, debt settlement companies may be an option to consider.

  • Top debt settlement companies:
  • Freedom Debt Relief
  • National Debt Relief
  • CuraDebt
Company NameMinimum DebtFeesAccreditation
Freedom Debt Relief$7,50015-25% of debtAFCC, IAPDA
National Debt Relief$7,50018-25% of debtAFCC, IAPDA
CuraDebt$5,00020% of debtAFCC, IAPDA

Tips and advice:

  • Research companies thoroughly before committing.
  • Understand the potential impact on your credit score.

Compare Credit Help Companies

Credit help companies can assist in improving your 653 credit score.

  • Leading credit help companies:
  • Credit Saint
  • Sky Blue Credit
  • The Credit People
Company NameMonthly FeeServices Offered
Credit Saint$79-$119Credit repair, monitoring
Sky Blue Credit$79Dispute assistance, score analysis
The Credit People$79Credit repair, identity theft protection

Tips and advice:

  • Be wary of companies promising quick fixes.
  • Understand what services you’re paying for and what you can do yourself.

Compare Credit Counseling Services

Credit counseling can provide guidance on managing your finances and improving your 653 credit score.

  • Reputable credit counseling services:
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
  • Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA)
  • Money Management International (MMI)
Service ProviderInitial ConsultationDebt Management Plan Fees
NFCCFree$0-$50 setup, $0-$75/month
FCAAFreeVaries by agency
MMIFree$0-$50 setup, $0-$75/month

Tips and advice:

  • Look for non-profit organizations certified by the NFCC or FCAA.
  • Take advantage of free initial consultations to find the right fit.


A 653 credit score puts you in the fair credit range, offering a mix of opportunities and challenges. While it allows access to many financial products, you may face higher interest rates and less favorable terms compared to those with higher scores. By understanding the factors that influence your score and implementing good credit habits, you can maintain and gradually improve your 653 credit score. Remember, credit improvement is a journey, and with consistent effort, you can achieve a better financial future.


What is a good credit score? 

Generally, a score above 670 is considered good, with 740+ being very good to excellent.

How long does it take to improve a 653 credit score? 

Significant improvements can take 3-6 months, but major changes might take a year or more.

Can I get a mortgage with a 653 credit score? 

Yes, especially FHA loans, but you may face higher interest rates than those with better scores.

How often does a credit score update? 

Credit scores typically update every 30-45 days, but it can vary based on reporting cycles.

What’s the difference between FICO and VantageScore? 

Both are credit scoring models, but they use slightly different criteria and scoring ranges. FICO is more commonly used by lenders.