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Cards for Average to Good Credit
For most of 2011 and so far in 2012, the average FICO credit score has hovered around 690 (out of 850). While the mean is 690, the median credit score is actually much higher (at 723), because the majority of scores are above 700.
The difference between an average or fair credit score of 690, and a good credit score of 723, is huge in terms of applying for loans and new lines of credit. That is because many lenders only give their best terms and rates to consumers with credit scores above 720. And in this current lending market, where banks are trying to make up for some pretty staggering losses in the last four years, they’d rather lend to consumers who can demonstrate the ability to pay back what they’ve borrowed, in a timely manner. Consider this comparison, below, of some of the more popular credit cards for average to good credit, and choose the one that matches your needs.
|Card Name||Credit Needed||Card Type||Rewards||Intro. APR||Pur. APR||Annual Fee||Bal. Trans. %||Notes|
|Citi ThankYou Preferred - $150 bonus||Average - Good||Rewards||Yes||N/A||12.99% - 22.99% (V)||$0||12.99% - 22.99%||$150 bonus (after $1,000 spent); 5pts/$1 on select catergories for 12 mos.; 1pt/$1 otherwise|
|Escape by Discover Card||Average - Good||0% APR; Bal. Trans.; Rewards||Yes||0% - 6 mos.||10.99% - 20.99% (V)||$60||0% - 6 mos.||1,000 bonus pts for each mo. the card is used (up to 25 mos.)|
So, what should you do if you’ve got a credit score in the average range? First, there are several good credit cards for average credit on the market today. With an average credit rating, you’ll be eligible for cards that offer relatively low ongoing variable interest rates, and even rewards incentives. While you won’t get the best rates around, these cards should serve as good general cards. A second thing you should consider doing is improve your credit score so that you may be eligible for credit cards for good credit. Methods for improving credit include: paying down current credit card debts so that total utilization falls below 30% across all cards; requesting a credit line increase on your current cards, to lower utilization (note, if you’re denied, this may add a hard inquiry and denial to your credit report, ultimately lowering your score—so be careful and make sure to speak to a service representative with your creditor first); removing any negative or derogatory errors that may be on your credit report; making on-time payments; getting and using a secured credit card that reports to all 3 credit bureaus each month.
Finally, it’s important to be patient when choosing a credit card. Not only will this give the lending market time to improve, increasing your chances of getting approved, but it will give you time to improve your credit score as well. Giving yourself 6 months to a year, of careful planning can help you cultivate a better credit score and find the card that’s right for you.
Remember: The credit card details contained in this comparison chart are considered accurate as of 6/29/2012, and may not be accurate after this date. Since interest rates and offers change frequently, it’s always best to read all current Terms and Conditions agreements for any card you are considering. These can often be found on the credit card application, which you can access from this web page.