By CreditNinja Reviewed by Matt Mayerle
Published on March 8, 2024

According to most credit scoring models, a 315 credit score is considered poor credit.

Consumers with this type of credit are likely new to handling their own finances or have gone through extreme financial difficulties. According to the credit bureau Experian, 16% of consumers have FICO credit scores in the poor credit range.1

But, just because you have a poor credit score now doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. There are plenty of things consumers with bad credit can start doing today that will help improve their credit in the future!

Key Takeaways for a 315 Credit Score

Overview of Your
Credit Rating

A 315 credit score falls towards the bottom of the “bad credit” tier. Scores between 300 and 579 make up the “bad credit score” range.

Borrowing Options With a
315 Credit Score

Borrowers with bad credit may only have subprime lending products available, which should be used with caution.

Improving a 315
Credit/FICO Score

Bad credit consumers can improve their scores by understanding how credit history works, paying bills on time, lowering debt, and avoiding new credit applications.

Is a 315 Credit Score Good?

Unfortunately, 315 is not considered a good credit score. In fact, consumers with a credit score of 315 are said to be in the “very bad credit” range. Borrowers with this type of score may struggle to maintain a positive credit history or may be new to having their own financial accounts.

What Can You Get Approved for With a 315 Credit Score?

Personal Loans

A personal loan is a type of installment loan that consumers can use for just about any purpose. Some common reasons why consumers take out personal loans are to pay for: 
  • Rent
  • Bills
  • Debt
  • School
  • Home repairs
  • Vehicle maintenance  
As with most loans, lenders for personal loans tend to favor consumers with a good or average credit score. However, there are special bad credit loans that are designed for consumers with lower scores. These types of loans can often be used as credit builder loans and help consumers improve their credit scores over time! 

Bank Loans

Banks offer traditional personal loans and tend to favor consumers with good credit. If you don’t have a higher credit score, you may not even want to waste your time applying for a bank loan. 

Banks vs. Credit Unions

While consumers can get a personal loan via a bank or credit union, consumers with a poor credit history may have an easier time working with a credit union. Since credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned and operated by their members, they are usually willing to offer special perks like higher loan amounts for bad credit borrowers or lower interest rates. 

Credit Cards

Credit cards are undoubtedly helpful, but an unsecured credit card may pose challenges for a bad credit consumer, like high-interest rates that lead to unaffordable credit card debt. According to CNBC, 49% of credit card holders carry debt from month to month.2 As an alternative, a secured credit card may prove to be a much more helpful financial tool. With secured credit cards, borrowers prepay their credit limit upfront, which means there’s no risk of accumulating a balance

Auto Loans

An auto loan is a type of funding specifically for buying a vehicle. While you may need a good credit score to get the lowest rates available, you can often find an affordable auto loan by shopping around and comparing offers. 

Cash Advances

For small financial emergencies, you may also consider using cash advance loans or payday loans. While these loans come with easy approval requirements, they usually always come with extremely high-interest rates, which means it’s vital to repay your balance ASAP. Unless you can fully repay your cash advance balance in about fourteen days or less, these loans may not be a viable financial solution. 

Products to Help Improve a 315 Credit Score

Credit Repair Company

If the prospect of getting your finances together sounds completely overwhelming, you may want to seek out some credit counseling services. Some popular options that may help consumers with unfavorable credit are: 

  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – the NFCC offers services like: 
    • Debt management assistance 
    • Budgeting advice 
    • Mortgage advice 
    • Assistance avoiding foreclosure or eviction
  • GreenPath Financial Wellness – GreenPath offers free debt counseling, available to all consumers with no appointment necessary. Furthermore, GreenPath can help consumers with education regarding debts and credit scores and provide aid in creating a Debt Management Plan (DMP)
  • InCharge Debt Solutions – InCharge offers credit counseling services and education regarding bankruptcy, refinancing, debt consolidation, and mortgage and student loan counseling 

What’s a DMP?

A Debt Management Plan, or DMP, is an arrangement between a consumer and a credit repair counselor that involves the counselor contacting the consumer’s creditors on their behalf and negotiating a repayment plan. Often, creditors are willing to offer special deals like lower interest rates if a consumer agrees to repay their debts via a DMP. 

Budgeting Apps

If you want to achieve a higher credit score and keep it, you’ll have to have a good handle on your budget. While you can always write out your monthly expenses and income with pen and paper and keep track of your spending manually, it may be easier to use a budgeting app. Budgeting apps allow you to track your spending on your computer or smartphone and can even help you identify ways you can save money. Some popular apps for budgeting include: 

  • Simplifi
  • YNAB (You Need a Budget)
  • Rocket Money
  • Monarch Money
  • Buddy
  • Zeta
  • Wally
  • PocketGuard
  • EveryDollar
  • Oportun

Credit Monitoring

Something most consumers with a good or average credit score will tell you is that checking your credit reports regularly is essential. The more familiar you are with your credit reports, the better you can understand how your spending habits and behaviors affect your overall credit. For example, if you usually let yourself splurge and make impulse purchases, you may see you have a higher credit utilization rate. By reining in that impulse spending habit, you may see your credit utilization start to stabilize and your credit score improves as an effect! 

In addition to checking your credit reports on your own, it may also be a good idea to enlist the help of credit monitoring services. 

Some credit monitoring services you may consider are: 

  • LifeLock
  • Credit Sesame
  • myFICO
  • ID Watchdog from Equifax
  • Identity Guard
  • Aura
  • Credit Karma
  • IdentityForce
  • CreditWise by Capital One
  • PrivacyGuard
  • Experian IdentityWorks

These services not only monitor your credit reports to help you develop good financial habits, but they can also alert you of suspicious activity regarding credit fraud or identity theft. 


Benefits of Improving Your 315 Credit Score

With a little planning, organization, and patience, you can see your credit score start to improve in as little as a month. Over time, once you’ve achieved a higher credit score, you’ll be able to enjoy perks like: 

  • More loan products available 
  • Faster loan approval 
  • Lower interest rates
  • Higher loan amounts
  • Special offers (credit limit increases, pre-approval, etc.)

How to Improve Your 315 Score

Understand How Your Credit History Works

In order to improve your credit scores, you’ll have to understand how they work. You can find your current credit score on your most recent credit report, which is an official record containing your financial history. This record contains information regarding the following topics: 

  • Payment history – how often you make on-time payments toward your bills and debts 
  • Amounts owed – how much money you owe in debts and other financial obligations
  • Length of credit history – how long you have had credit accounts open in your name
  • Credit mix – the different types of financial accounts you have (investments, credit cards, mortgages, loans, etc.)
  • New credit – how often you have applied for new credit cards or loans within the past few months 

All your reported accounts and financial activity regarding each of these categories can be found on your credit report. The more positive activity and accounts you have on your credit report, the more your credit score will benefit. 

Make All Your Payments On Time

While it’s important to keep all aspects of your credit report in mind when trying to improve your credit score, your payment history is going to be the most important. Making timely payments on your bills, loans, and other financial obligations accounts for 35% of your overall credit score. But, although payment history can have the biggest impact on credit score improvement, it can also be the biggest obstacle in holding you back from improving your score. Just one late payment on your credit file has the potential to bring your credit score down for up to seven years! And so, it’s crucial that you make all your due payments on time. 

To help ensure you maintain a pristine payment history, think about signing up for automatic payments, also called auto-pay. Just make sure you have enough money in your checking account to avoid going into the negative! 

Focus on Repaying Existing Debts

If you have a handle on your monthly payments, you will want to then focus on repaying your overall balances. Repaying your balances will work to improve your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio refers to the amount of money you owe in debts and balances compared to how much money you make from your job or other income. Typically, you will want your income to outweigh your debts. 

If your debts heavily outweigh your income, you may want to think about debt consolidation or other debt repayment methods. You can also try simply paying a little more than your minimum amount due on each debt payment to bring down your balances faster. 

Avoid Applying for New Credit Accounts

Try not to apply for new loans or credit cards for a while. Although new credit inquiries only account for a small percentage of your credit score, they can play a major role in the overall health of your credit history. By limiting your new credit inquiries and applications, you will not only save yourself from getting hit with a hard credit check, but you will also avoid accumulating more debt to pay off. 

However, while you should avoid submitting applications for multiple credit accounts, that doesn’t mean you need to cancel any existing accounts you already have in your name. In fact, you could end up lowering your credit score by getting rid of existing savings or credit card accounts you have in good standing.

FAQs About 315 Credit Scores

A 315 credit score can significantly impact your credit history, signaling to lenders that you may be a high-risk borrower. However, by adopting responsible financial behaviors, such as timely payments and debt reduction, you can improve your poor or average credit score and positively influence your credit history over time.

The average credit score typically ranges between 670 and 739, depending on the scoring model used. With a 315 credit score, you are below the national average credit score but can work towards it by focusing on credit repair strategies, such as paying off outstanding debts and maintaining low credit utilization.

Yes, a secured credit card is an excellent tool for building or improving your credit score. By making small purchases and paying them off on time, you demonstrate financial responsibility, which can positively affect your credit score. Since a secured card requires a cash deposit as collateral, it also reduces the risk for lenders, making it easier to obtain with a lower or average credit score.

What Interest Rate Can I Get With a 315 Credit Score?

Typically, the lowest interest rates for any type of loan are going to be reserved for borrowers with a higher credit score. However, other factors, such as the type of interest, can also influence what types of rates are available with different types of loans. Below are more details on the different types of interest rates you may come across when searching for a loan:

Interest Rate Type




Stays the same throughout the loan term.

Mortgages, personal loans.


Changes with market conditions.

Credit cards, adjustable-rate mortgages.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Total borrowing cost, including fees.

Comparing loans and credit cards.

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Interest earned with compounding.

Savings accounts, CDs.

Prime Rate

Rate for creditworthy customers, influences variable rates.

Personal loans, HELOCs.

Discount Rate

Central bank’s rate for short-term loans to banks.

Influences broader economy rates.

Federal Funds Rate

Target rate for interbank lending; affects overall interest rates.

Impacts consumer loan and savings rates.

Disclaimer: This chart is a simplified overview intended for educational purposes only and does not encompass all details or variations of interest rates. Rates and applications can vary widely based on economic conditions, lender policies, and individual circumstances.

Can I Buy a House With a 315 Credit Score?

Buying a house with a poor credit history will usually prove to be extremely difficult. While there are FHA loans that are designed to help bad credit consumers buy a home, you typically need to have a credit score of at least 580 to take advantage of these options. Instead, it may be easier to work on improving your credit scores before seeking out a mortgage loan.

Top 5 Resources for a 315 Credit Score

Related Credit Scores

830  840  844  800  300  315  350  370  380  399  400