credit card advice
Although the little white mile markers on the side of the highway have lost some significance in our digital, GPS-enabled lives, anyone who slogs through a long commute can appreciate the value in knowing you’re that much closer to home.
For credit-building consumers, the journey to excellent credit is also studded with valuable signposts that let you know you’re closer to your goal. And one of the most important mile markers along your path will be reaching — and then exceeding — a 700 credit score.
For one thing, with a score of 700 or above, you’re on par with — or doing better than — the average American’s 700 score. You’re also eligible for many of the best (and most affordable) credit cards and loan offers.
Credit Cards: 700-750 Credit Score
With a credit score of 700 or higher, you will have a wide range of credit cards from which to choose, including many great rewards cards. You’ll also find a number of quality cards with no annual fee, some extended 0% intro-APR offers, and very valuable signup bonuses.
Your good credit score will also help you qualify for APRs at the low end of a credit card’s possible range, as well as higher credit limits than applicants with lower credit scores would receive.
1. Discover it® Cash Back
One of the most popular cash back cards on the market, this card offers up to 5% cash back for purchases in a variety of popular categories, including everyday necessities like gas and groceries, as well as unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
The card’s bonus rewards categories rotate each quarter, so you’ll be offered a new category every three months, and you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in bonus category purchases each quarter you activate. Plus, you’ll never pay an annual fee.
at Discover Card'ssecure website
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
On top of its popular cash back rewards, this card also provides a unique new cardholder bonus. Discover will actually match all of the cash back you earn with your card during your first year of use, with no limit on how much you can earn or match. So, if you earn $300 in cash back, Discover will match that $300.
New cardholders can also enjoy an intro-APR offer. You’ll receive 0% APR on both new purchases and balance transfers for the duration of the promotional period, then pay the regular 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
While cash back cards with bonus categories can definitely be valuable, not every purchase will fall neatly into a common category. That’s where an unlimited cash back card like this one can be very handy.
With this card, cardholders will receive the same 1.5% cash back on every new purchase, regardless of where or what time of year they buy. There are no categories to track or activate, and zero limits on how much you earn. There’s also no annual fee.
at Chase'ssecure website
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
In addition to its unlimited purchase rewards, this card offers a few extra perks for new cardholders, including a competitive signup bonus with a really manageable spending requirement. It also comes with a long 0% intro-APR offer good on both new purchases and balance transfers.
One thing to note about this card is that it is issued solely by Chase bank, which means it falls under the limitations of Chase’s 5/24 Rule. So, if you’ve opened five or more credit accounts in the last 24 months, you’ll be automatically rejected for this card.
3. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Travel is a multibillion-dollar industry in the US, with Americans logging 1.8 billion person-trips in 2017 for leisure alone. With that in mind, it’s little wonder that travel rewards credit cards are a popular way to save on all that to-ing and fro-ing.
This card is near the top of many travel rewards lists thanks mostly to its extreme flexibility, as it not only offers the same unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, but it also allows cardholders to redeem their rewards free from blackout-date or brand restrictions.
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
- Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
- Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
But the savings don’t stop there with this card. Travelers without strong brand preferences can get even more value by taking advantage of the card’s 10X miles per dollar on hotel purchases made through hotels.com/venture. Redeem for a statement credit toward travel purchases or by transferring miles to a participating partner travel loyalty program.
This card also provides some extra incentives for new cardholders, like waiving the annual fee for the first year. Plus, reach the minimum spending requirement to earn a huge miles bonus, enough to redeem for a free flight or hotel stay.
4. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
If the idea of having to track and activate new bonus rewards categories each quarter sounds like a lot of hassle, then an unlimited cash back rewards card may be the solution. This card offers the same 1.5% cash back on every new purchase, regardless of when or where you buy.
There are no limits to how much cash back you can earn, either. And, just in case you wanted a little extra, you’ll earn 1.8% cash back on qualified mobile wallet purchases for the first 12 months after you open your account. And it’s all without an annual fee.
at Wells Fargo'ssecure website
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
- No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.74%-27.74% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
New cardholders also get a few more extras, including a decent 0% intro-APR offer that can be used for both new purchase and balance transfers. You’ll also get a competitive signup bonus after meeting the reasonable spending requirement in your first three months.
Plus, this card offers something few cards provide: cellphone protection. Cardholders can receive up to $600 in cellphone protection — minus the $25 deductible — when they pay their phone bill with their card each month.
Personal Loans: 700-750 Credit Score
Although the consumer credit world is home to a wide variety of products, personal loans are among the most flexible, as they can be used as a means to finance nearly any type of purchase.
At the same time, personal loans tend to have higher interest rates than other types of loans, so they’re not ideal for every situation.
For example, you shouldn’t use a personal loan to purchase a vehicle, especially if you have a good credit score of 700 or higher, as an auto loan will offer a much lower interest rate.
That said, a credit score between 700 and 750 will almost certainly qualify you for a decent personal loan interest rate. Not all offers are made equally, however, so be sure to take the time to compare rates and fees, perhaps by using an online lending network like those below.
As its name implies, PersonalLoans.com is an online lending network that specializes in personal loans, and its large network of lending partners serves customers with a variety of credit types in all 50 states.
PersonalLoans.com users can generally find three types of personal loans: peer-to-peer loans, direct-lender personal installment loans, and bank personal loans. Borrowers can receive a response in just minutes by filling out the simple online application.
- Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000
- Flexible credit requirements
- Online lending network with partners in 50 states
- Loan can be used for anything
- Fast online approval
- Funding in as few as 24 hours
Loans from the network can be obtained in amounts ranging from $500 up to $35,000 for the most qualified borrowers. Interest rates are typically between 5.99% and 35.99%, though, with a credit score above 700, you can likely anticipate an APR in the lower end of the range.
Loans from a PersonalLoans.com lender can be obtained with term lengths as short as 90 days and as long as 72 months (six years). Keep in mind that the longer your loan term, the more interest fees you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
SignatureLoan.com is true to its name, offering unsecured personal loans to qualified applicants with just a signature. As an online lending network, SignatureLoan.com connects applicants with lenders from across the country to help them find the right fit.
Although the network has no set minimum credit score requirements, you’ll still need to meet a few conditions to qualify, including having an active bank account and regular income. You can apply for a loan via the online application and receive a decision in minutes.
- Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000
- Flexible credit requirements
- Loans can be used for anything
- Five minute application
- Funding possible in as few as 24 hours
- Large lending network with multiple partners
Loans from SignatureLoan.com partners can be obtained in amounts of $1,000 up to $35,000, though the exact amount you’re offered will vary based on your credit score and other qualifications. Most APRs will range from 5.99% up to 35.99%, with the lowest APRs reserved for applicants with the best credit.
As with most personal loans, you can choose your term length, with loan terms as long as 72 months available from SignatureLoan.com lending partners. The minimum loan term length is 90 days.
Auto Loan: 700-750 Credit Score
In the vast majority of cases, an auto loan is the most affordable way to finance a new vehicle. Auto loans have relatively low interest rates — especially for consumers with good credit — with single-digit APRs not uncommon for qualified applicants.
Auto loans can be obtained from a wide variety of lenders, from banks and credit unions to the car dealers themselves. No matter where you get your auto loan, however, a credit score above 700 should qualify you for competitive interest rates, so shop around to find your best rate.
7. Auto Credit Express
Although your local dealer won’t always offer the best interest rate, they won’t always have the highest one, either, especially when you have good credit, and dealers can sometimes be easier to deal with if it’s your first auto loan. Some dealers may also offer incentives for financing your vehicle purchase through their banks.
Whatever your reason for considering dealer financing, Auto Credit Express can likely help; by working with a large network of dealer partners, Auto Credit Express can help connect you with dealers that match your credit and financial needs, all with an easy online application.
- Dealer partner network has closed over $1 billion in auto loans
- Can help those with bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy, and repossession
- Established in 1999
- Easy, 30-second pre-qualification form
- Bad-credit applicants must have $1500/month income to qualify
As an online dealer network, Auto Credit Express can connect you with local dealers to find both a vehicle and the financing to purchase it. However, it’s important to note that the network itself is not a dealer or lender.
Once you select a dealer partner from Auto Credit Express, the network’s role is complete. You’ll contact (or be contacted by) the dealership to set up a time to browse the dealer’s selection of vehicles and go over the loan agreement from the dealer’s in-house or third-party lender.
Home Loan: 700-750 Credit Score
With the average home valued at over $200,000, it’s fair to say very few of us are waltzing in and purchasing a home with cash, No, most of us are going to need a mortgage loan to cover that six-figure purchase.
But while most other credit products, including credit cards and car loans, can be obtained with a range of credit scores, mortgage loans are generally in a league of their own. Thankfully, a credit score above 700 is just what you need to make it to the mortgage majors.
Indeed, with the base FICO credit score for a conventional mortgage typically considered to be 680, a credit score above 700 puts you well into the range of acceptable scores to qualify, though your specific credit history and down payment will be significant factors, as well.
Comparing loan offers is important no matter what type of loan you’re after, but it can be especially vital with mortgage loans thanks to the large principals and long term lengths. Over 30 years, even half of a percentage point in your APR can mean thousands of dollars in interest.
As with other loan types, one of the easiest ways to compare mortgage offers is with an online lending network like LendingTree.com. With hundreds of lending partners, LendingTree.com can help borrowers compare up to five mortgage loan offers from a single online application.
- Find lenders for new home purchases, refinancing, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages
- Lenders compete for your business
- Offers in minutes
- Receive up to 5 loan offers and select the right one for you
- Founded in 1996
- Over $250 billion in closed loan transactions
Consumers with credit scores over 700 will likely qualify for both conventional and FHA-backed loans, making the choice of loan type more about the down payment than credit qualifications.
Specifically, most conventional mortgages require a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price of the property (though borrowers with strong credit histories may qualify for a lower down payment amount). FHA-insured loans, on the other hand, require only 3.5% down when you have a credit score above 580.
Good Credit Can Unlock a World of Possibilities
In the digital era, most of us are more inclined to check our GPS for the proper turnoff than to consult a map and mile marker as was once the case. But while highway markers may be on their way to obsolescence, their allegorical value remains intact, serving as a vivid illustration of the important events along life’s journey.
Next to most major events, such as graduating from college or starting a business, reaching a 700 credit score can seem to be a small milestone, perhaps one barely worthy of a marker at all. But, in the grand scheme of your personal finances, your credit score will likely play a pivotal role.
Not only does having a good credit score open up a variety of credit products, from top rewards cards to affordable mortgages, but more and more non-financial parties, like landlords and employers, are using credit scores to get a feel for potential applicants.
Range of credit scores covered in this article: 700, 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 712, 713, 714, 715, 716, 717, 718, 719, 720, 721, 722, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, 735, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740, 741, 742, 743, 744, 745, 746, 747, 748, 749, 750