Based on their credit score, most borrowers fall into two main categories: prime or subprime. Someone with excellent credit may not have a perfect credit score, but it’s high enough to get the best or “prime” interest rates.
Because of this, people with prime credit are more likely to get the best credit cards, but they may have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with super-prime credit.
Select explains what a “prime borrower” is, their credit score, and some of the best credit cards they can get.
The Credit Score of a Prime Borrower!
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Credit Panel says a prime credit score is between 660 and 719.
Remembering that a prime credit score can mean different things to different lenders and organizations. For example, Experian says that people with credit scores of 670 or higher are prime borrowers.
People with good credit are usually thought of as “prime consumers.”
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What Does It Mean to Have a Prime Credit Score?
If you have prime credit, lenders think you are more likely than someone with subprime credit to pay your monthly loan and credit card bills on time and in full. They are more likely to give you credit because they think you are less likely not to pay it back.
As a prime borrower, your credit limit will be higher than a subprime borrower’s, but you might not get the best terms, like the lowest interest rate on your mortgage, like a super-prime borrower would.
Let’s look at the interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage to see what I mean. For example, a 30-year fixed mortgage is a loan paid off in 30 years with a fixed interest rate and monthly payment that doesn’t change.
We used FICO credit scores and home-buying data from Informa Research Services to determine the average APR and monthly payment for a $300,000 mortgage for homeowners with different credit scores.
The CFPB Consumer Credit Panel defines a borrower’s credit score in the far left column.
The Best Credit Cards for Prime Borrowers!
Prime borrowers have a lot of choices when it comes to which credit card to apply for, just like super-prime borrowers do.
Here are some credit cards you can use if you are a prime borrower with good credit:
- Best for travel: American Express® Gold Card
- Best welcome bonus: Chase Freedom FlexSM
- Best 0% APR period: Citi Simplicity® Card
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Patricia Gault is a seasoned journalist with years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for uncovering the truth and bringing important stories to light. Patricia has a sharp eye for detail and a talent for making complex issues accessible to a broad audience. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to accuracy and impartiality, earning a reputation as a reliable and trusted source of news.