By CreditNinja Reviewed by Matt Mayerle
Published on April 1, 2024

A 642 credit score falls under a fair credit rating. With a fair credit rating, you won’t be able to choose every loan option out there, but you also won’t have to worry about having no options. 

72% of Americans have a higher score than 642.¹

Curious about more of the details surrounding this score? Keep reading to learn more about a 642 credit score, along with tips to improve this kind of credit rating.

Key Takeaways for a 642 Credit Score

Overview of Your
Credit Rating

A 642 credit score is a fair score. That means that you’ll be right in the middle with your finances. You will be seen as a moderate credit risk.

Borrowing Options With a 642 Credit Score

A fair credit score borrower will have a good amount of borrowing options to choose from, which can be very helpful!

Improving a 642
Credit/FICO Score

With the right steps, consistency, and avoiding negative financial actions, improving a 642 is possible.

Is a 642 Credit Score Good?

A 642 isn’t considered good, but it also isn’t bad; it’s right in the middle. The good news is that borrowers who have this score don’t have to go too far to get a good score. Of course, how fast this can happen depends on your credit history.

What Can You Get Approved for With a 642 Credit Score?

When working with a 642 credit score, you’ll have a good amount of options to choose from for a loan. Below is more information about some popular loan choices, all of which are likely available for borrowers who have fair credit. 

Personal Loans

Personal loans are a top choice for borrowers and are usually very easy to find. The most common type of personal loan is an unsecured option, which is also usually an installment loan. Installment loans are repaid in steady monthly payments until the loan is paid off. When your credit scores are in the middle ground, personal loans from all kinds of lenders may be an option. So banks, credit unions, and online lenders may work. 

Bank Loans

Bank loans may also be an option for borrowers who have fair credit scores. With banks, there may be several loan types available, both secured and unsecured loan options. In some cases, a 642 credit score, you may need a cosigner depending on the specific bank, your credit history, and income. 

Credit Cards

Credit cards are pretty versatile when it comes to credit scores, simply because there are so many credit card options out there. With a credit score of 645, you’ll likely have a handful of credit card options to choose from. However, before deciding on a loan option, it’s important to do some research and compare interest rates and specific credit card terms. The thing about credit cards is that they can vary quite a bit in terms of costs, interest, rewards, and more. 

Auto Loans 

Many people who purchase a car do so with the help of a car loan. Car loans or auto loans may be available for several ranges of credit scores. With these loans, there will usually be a down payment requirement, which will vary depending on the lender. These are usually installment loans, so you’ll make equal monthly payments until the loan is paid off in full. Once the loan is paid off, you will completely own the vehicle.

Products To Help Improve a 642 Credit Score

While having a fair credit score is not the worst place to be, getting a good or excellent credit score can come with lots of benefits. And you don’t have to go about it alone! There are lots of products that can help you reach a higher credit rating with all three major credit bureaus:

Automating Your Payments

When trying to improve your average credit score, automatic payments can be extremely helpful. With auto-pay set up, you don’t have to worry about remembering your monthly bill payments and can build a positive payment history. Over time, this can look great on your credit reports and help boost your score.

Credit Builder Loans

If you want to build a positive payment history without taking out a traditional loan, a credit builder loan could be the option you need. Instead of getting the money upfront, the funds are stored in a savings account. Then, the borrower will make monthly payments to the lender, which will be reported to at least one of the credit bureaus. Once you make all the required payments you’ll get the funds from that savings account back. With timely payments, a credit builder loan can help you build a positive payment history. 

Debt Management Plans

Debt management plans help people manage their debts better. These plans can be strategies that you can do yourself. For example, it can be as simple as making a budget that prioritizes any leftover money towards paying off debt. Or you can look at debt management products such as a debt consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card. 

If you want an even more comprehensive approach, a financial advisor or planner can help you come up with a plan to better manage your debt.

Benefits of Improving a 642 Credit Score

When you do improve your credit score, you can look forward to all kinds of benefits, the most obvious ones being an easier time getting funding and lower interest rates. But, did you know that there are lots of other unexpected benefits that could come with improving your credit scores? Here are some to look forward to:

Increased Job Opportunities

When improving your credit scores and credit history, you may have access to more job opportunities. Some employers check credit scores when filtering through applicants, and with a higher credit score, you may be selected over someone else!

Better Opportunities for Housing

Whether renting or buying a home, credit scores will be involved in the process and can mean the difference between renting or buying your dream home. When renting, there is usually a credit score minimum, and mortgage lenders also have the same. A higher credit score puts you in great shape whether you are thinking of renting or buying a home. 

More Credit Card Rewards

Borrowers with good or excellent credit scores can look forward to more credit card rewards than borrowers who have a fair credit history. These rewards can include more cash back, lower fees, and, of course, lower interest rates. 

How To Improve Your 642 Credit Score

Not sure how to begin improving your credit? Here are some steps you can take:

Pay Your Credit Accounts on Time

The most impactful thing you can do when trying to improve your credit is to make sure that you pay your credit accounts on time. When you make timely payments that will reflect positively on your credit report and credit history, over time, these payments can really add up and boost your credit score! So much so you end up with good or excellent credit scores. 

Keep Your Credit Cards Open 

Sometimes, when people pay off credit cards, they may want to close them. However, doing so can hurt your credit scores. This is because closing a credit card reduces your credit limit, which in turn can increase your credit utilization. And so whether it is a revolving loan or credit card that you paid off, it will be in your credit score’s best interest to keep those accounts active and open on your credit reports. 

Fix Errors on Your Credit Reports 

Consumers have three credit reports, as there are three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Sometimes errors can happen. When that does happen it’s up to the consumer to fix them. Otherwise, they will remain on your credit reports and can hurt your credit scores. 

This is why monitoring your credit reports is important, and will often be advice for those looking to improve their credit scores. The good news is that the process of disputing errors can be pretty straightforward, it all begins with filling a dispute with the right bureau. 

Below we’ve provided contact information for each that can help you get started:

Credit Bureau

Phone Number







Keep Your Credit Utilization Under 30%

Your credit utilization measures your available credit against your current debt. Keeping this ratio under 30% can be good for your credit score, while having it over that percentage can hurt it. A good place to start when trying to lower this rate is simply paying off debt. 

FAQs About 642 Credit Scores

Increasing your credit limit can positively impact your credit score by lowering your credit utilization ratio, provided you don’t increase your spending, potentially improving your score.

Yes, a diverse credit mix can positively affect your score. However, opening multiple accounts quickly can lead to hard inquiries, which might temporarily lower your score.

Negotiate with credit card companies for a lower rate or consider balance transfer credit cards with lower introductory rates, but watch out for transfer fees and post-introductory rates.

Using a rewards credit card responsibly contributes to a good payment history and can help improve your credit score, making you eligible for better rewards and terms over time.

Regularly reviewing your credit report helps track debt reduction progress, ensure accuracy, and identify errors or fraud, which can improve your credit score when corrected.

Securing a loan and managing it responsibly can contribute to a higher credit score by demonstrating reliable credit behavior. A secured loan can add to your credit mix, which may be favorable in credit scoring models. Proper management, including timely payments, can lower your credit utilization rate over time. While initially, credit inquiries from applying for secured loans might slightly lower your score, the positive impact of reducing your utilization rate and adding positive payment history outweighs this temporary dip, leading to higher credit scores in the long run.

What Interest Rate Can I Get With a 642 Credit Score?

Credit scores definitely play a role in interest rates for a loan, however, there are a few other factors that impact it as well. Here are some other factors that affect interest rates:

  • The loan type
  • The lender 
  • The borrower’s finances 

With a 642 credit score, you can expect interest rates to be in the middle, they likely won’t be in the highest range but they won’t be the lowest either. The best thing you can do for your interest rates is improve your credit scores. 

Can I Buy a House With a 642 Credit Score? 

A mortgage has several qualification steps, so even if you have a great credit score, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to buy a home. You’ll have to have enough income, have enough money for closing costs, get a home inspection, and much much more. 

However, a good credit score will get you through the credit score qualification process with a mortgage. Fair credit may or may not be okay, depending on the lender you find. The best thing you can do before going into a mortgage is fix your credit score and overall finances.

Top 5 Resources for a 642 Credit Score

Related Credit Scores

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  1. 642 Credit Score | Experian