540 Credit Score – Loan & Credit Card Options
Is credit score of 540 good or bad? Learn how to improve it.
A credit score under 540 is considered a very “poor” credit score. If your credit score is this low, you’ll more than likely have a very hard time obtaining credit cards and loans. And in the event that you are approved for either, you’ll often be asked to pay a large fee or deposit to cover the risk the lender is taking.
Overview of a 540 credit score
- Credit Cards: Secured
- Auto Loan: High APR
- Personal Loan: Yes, High APR
- Mortgage: FHA Only
- Apartment Rentals: Yes
Your credit score is one of the most important determining factors for your future. It could be the one thing that determines whether you are able to get a loan for a new home or keep renting. It can impact how high the interest rates on your car, home, and student loans are. The better your credit score is, the less you’ll have to pay for borrowing money.
And even more importantly, your 540 credit score is one of the biggest indicators of your fiscal responsibility, that’s why it’s very important to understand is it “good” or “bad“. Anytime you apply for a new loan or credit card, someone will be looking over your credit report. And you’ll even find that future landlords and employers will consider your credit before making their decision. The lower your credit score is, the bigger your risk of having to make a large deposit before getting a new lease or opening a new account. Your credit score could even result in lost job opportunities.
It is very important that you don’t just check your credit score once with only one credit bureau. The danger of doing this is that you will never be able to detect in case there is an error. A bureau is not infallible, mistakes could be made due to human factor. It is therefore important to re-check your 540 credit score across all bureaus. This is a very safe practice that will guarantee that you are given a valid credit rating at all times.
If you do not check your credit rating across all bureaus, the mistake of a bureau may negatively affect your situation and this will not be good for you.
540 Credit Score: Credit Card Options
Bad credit score tells lenders that you pose a major risk. Because you don’t have a track record of paying your bills on time and in full, you’ll have a hard time finding unsecured credit cards with high limits. The import of this of course is that potential lenders will be cautious to credit you because your credit score speaks louder concerning your personality particularly when it comes to handling financial commitments than any juicy promise you have to offer the lender.
The 540 FICO score takes its toll on the kind of credit card available. Your best bet will be to apply for a secured credit card. Secured cards require you to pay a deposit upfront that covers your charges if you fail to make a payment. After several months of regular payments, you’ll often get the deposit back. The credit cards available to you must be such that it has pre-qualification checks, low upfront fees as well as reporting to three credit bureaus. Examples of credit cards you can take advantage of, having 540 credit score, is the Capital One Secured Master card which has a relaxed security deposit and does not require an annual fee.
However, unsecured credit cards for bad credit score are still an option. As much as having a bad credit score is not a good experience, it is not all hell and gloom all the way.
|Card Name||APR||Annual Fee||Secured/Unsecured|
|Capitol 1 MasterCard||24.99%||$0||Unsecured|
Credit Score of 540: Car Loans
Car dealerships want to know that you’re dependable. You’re expected to make payments on time every month, so they want some insurance in the event that you don’t. As a result, the lower your credit score is, the higher your interest rates will be. With a 540 credit score, you can expect an auto loan interest rate between 10.78% and 12.78% when shopping for a new car. If you’re in the market for a used car, the rate will be closer to 13.45% – 15.45%.
Long gone are the days when people with poor FICO score were not given auto loans. Nowadays, you can get a loan but not all the dealers provide this opportunity. Some of the lenders who provide loans increase the interest rate. This will cost you a lot of dollars as it will increase your monthly payments and the total cost.
For making it easy for you to understand, we have this table to show you the difference between getting an auto loan with 590 and 540 credit score. First of all, we will need to define an initial cost of the car. Let us use the average amount borrowed for an auto loan. Mostly, a loan with $20000 initial cost is selected by the car buyers.
We will be considering two types of car loan, loan type 36 and 48 months. The table shows how much you will be saving your money by improving your credit score.
|Loan Type||Credit Score||Rate*||Monthly Payment||Total Payed||Saved|
|Loan Type||Credit Score||Rate*||Monthly Payment||Total Payed||Saved|
First, we will take a look at how much you can save if you selected 36 month car loan. The interest rate on the car loan with 540 credit score is 11.778%, your monthly payment will be $662.17. The total paid amount will be $23838.03. However, when you increase your 540 FICO score by 50 points, the APR will be lower. This is because people with better credit get loans at the lower interest rate. The APR will be 10.078%, the auto monthly payment will be $646.08 while the total paid amount will be equal to $23258.75. Therefore, this shows that you can save $579.28, just by improving your credit score a little bit.
In the same way, if you prefer the 48 month loan and your credit score is 540, you get APR of 11.778%. The monthly payment is $524.5 and the total cost will be $25175.97. On the other hand, when you have 590 credit score with APR 11.778%, the monthly payment will be equal to $508. The total cost will be $24384.06. Hence, you will be able to save $791.91.
There are many benefits of increasing your FICO score from 540 to 590. You will get better interest rates, you will have to pay less on monthly basis, and the total amount paid will be less as well. So, in some cases, it can be concluded that increasing your credit score of 540 by 50 points, will help you save thousands on your loan. It is worth improving your credit score before applying for the loan, as it will not only help save your money but will help have a good reputation as well.
540 Credit Score: Personal Loan Options
Getting a personal loan with a credit score below 540 will be difficult, which makes sense because 60% of people with scores this low default on their loans. But there are low credit personal loans available. You’ll have to expect to make tradeoffs, such as taking less than ideal terms and accepting a high interest rate. On average, you can anticipate interest rates as high as 22%. Enlisting a cosigner or getting a secured loan is a great option to boost your chances of getting accepted and lowering your interest rates.
Guide on bad credit loans
Getting Mortgages with 540 credit score
With a credit score below 540, your best bet with be a Federal Housing Authority loan, because lenders tend to be more lenient with the requirements of these mortgages. Quite often, you’ll be expected to make at least a 10% down payment prior to securing the mortgage. It’s also important to remember that the reason your credit is poor can affect your likelihood to secure a loan—loss of a job can be more understandable than maxed out credit cards. To better your chances, you should also demonstrate other signs of financial security, such as steady employment.
Considering these things, your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. It can affect every action you take, from the house you live in to the car you drive. Taking steps to improve your 540 credit score is the best way to save money and make your life easier down the road. There’s no excuse to not improve your credit score!
How is a 540 credit score calculated?
The three major credit bureaus rely on five types of information to calculate your credit score. They collect this information from a variety of sources, and compile it to give you an overall score. The score is comprised of 35% payment history, 30% amount owed, 15% credit history, 10% new credit, and 10% credit diversity.
Your payment history is the key factor that helps to determine your credit score. In the simplest terms, your payment history is based on how often you pay at least the minimum payment on your bills on time. However, some of the other factors aren’t so simple. The second most important factor is the amount you owe, which is based on the amount of credit you have available compared to the amount of debt you have. This is called your credit utilization ration, and it matters because lenders believe you are more likely to miss payments if your credit cards are maxed out.
The third factor in play is your length of credit history, which assesses the average age of your accounts and how long it’s been since those accounts were actually used. The last two, smallest factors are how often you apply for new accounts and how diverse your credit portfolio is. In other words, opening multiple accounts at a time hurts your score, while having different types of accounts improves it.
5 Steps to Improve Your 540 Credit Score
Keep your credit card balances low. The amount of money you owe versus the amount of credit you have impacts your credit rating. The lower your balances are, the higher your score will be. Ideally, your cards should never have more than thirty percent of their available credit line charged. Consolidating your credit card debt via a personal loan could be a great solution to a low credit score. In addition, paying your balance in full every month may not make a difference—some credit bureaus consider the amount on your statement rather than the amount after your payment.
Keep your old debt on your report. So many people call their credit bureaus the week after they’ve paid off a home or car and try to get the debt removed from their report. But paid debt is actually a form of good debt that will boost your score—not lower it.
Be smart when shopping for a loan. Applying for several loans or credit cards in a row can drastically hurt your score. But most lenders will give you a “grace period” where your credit score won’t be impacted. If you do all of your loan shopping in a three-week period, for example, there’s a good chance it won’t count against you. Reaching out to one of the bureaus is a good way to find out their exact policy.
Pay your bills and cut your debt. Make your monthly payments on time and in full as often as possible. At the end of the day, the less debt you owe, the higher your credit score will be. Being smart about how you use your credit card will do nothing for your score if its maxed out.
- Don’t let yourself worry. You shouldn’t be checking your credit score every day or expecting changes overnight. Just adopt good habits, like the ones above, and keep working towards gradual improvement.
Improving your 540 credit score can take a lot of work, but following these steps can make all the difference. It will take time, but you can see your credit score go up within a year, which could save you countless amounts on interest rates. Dedicating the effort to improving your credit is worth the investment.
The Different Types of Credit Scores
The three main credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each bureau gives you a score, and these three scores combine to create both your 540 FICO Credit Score and your VantageScore. Your score will differ slightly among each bureau for a variety of reasons, including their specific scoring models and how often they access your financial data. Keeping track of all five of these scores on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that your credit score is an accurate reflection of your financial situation.