A credit score of 491 means you’ve had a number of payment problems, such as going through bankruptcy or having your home foreclosed on. As a result, it’s difficult to qualify for most loans and credit cards.
The good news is that you can start to build your credit again with a few simple steps. By boosting your credit score into the fair range (580-669), you’ll be able to access more credit options, lower interest rates, and more favorable terms.
Overview of a 491 Credit Score
A 491 credit score is a poor rating and reveals a history of payment problems, possibly including bankruptcy or foreclosure. This makes it hard for a person with this score to qualify for loans, unsecured credit cards, and mortgages.
A FICO credit score ranges from 300 to 850, with lower scores indicating more risk to lenders. Your credit report details your track record of paying bills on time, the types of credit accounts you have and how much total debt you have.
The FICO scoring model usually favors users with multiple credit accounts, a good credit mix (including both revolving and installment credit), and low credit utilization. It also considers your age of credit and the number of negative items on your report.
Credit Card Options with a 491 Credit Score
If you have a 491 credit score, you may find that lenders are less likely to offer you credit cards and other unsecured forms of credit. This is because a 491 credit score signals that you have had payment problems in the past, and banks are more cautious when lending to those with bad credit.
Generally speaking, your credit score is determined by your mix of debt and how much of it you have in total. To get a good score, you’ll want to establish a solid credit mix and keep your overall credit utilization rate low.
Your credit scores are based on your report from one of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each bureau has its own credit-scoring model, which may affect your score slightly differently.
Auto Loans with a 491 Credit Score
A 491 credit score is generally considered a poor credit rating, meaning you’re likely to have a difficult time getting approved for auto loans. But if you have other qualifications — such as income and employment — and know how to improve your credit, there are some ways you can get an auto loan even with a bad credit score.
An auto loan is a type of installment debt that involves a vehicle as collateral. Having your car as collateral makes it less risky for lenders, making auto loans easier to get with a bad credit score than some unsecured loans.
An auto loan interest rate is determined through a process known as risk-based pricing. Lenders take into account a variety of factors when deciding on your rate, including your credit score and history.
Personal Loan Options with a 491 Credit Score
When you have a 491 credit score, it can be difficult to find personal loans with favorable terms. Even if you can get one, the interest rate and fees are likely to be high.
However, there are some options that will help you get a lower rate and payment. For example, you could add a co-signer with better credit to your loan.
The key is to compare offers from different lenders and pick the best one for your needs. You can use a comparison tool like Even Financial to find the top offers for your situation.
Getting your credit score into the fair range (500-669) can make it easier to find credit cards, auto loans and mortgages with reasonable rates and fees. You can also boost your scores by adopting creditworthy habits, such as paying bills on time and avoiding late fees and over-limit charges.
Mortgages with a 491 Credit Score
A 491 credit score is considered “Very Poor.” It’s one of the lowest scores you can have, and it signals a lot of risk to lenders. This makes it difficult for you to get a mortgage.
Even if you do qualify for a mortgage, the interest rates you’ll pay will be high, and you won’t have the flexibility of a flexible payment plan. That’s why it’s important to improve your 491 credit score before you apply for a mortgage.
The best thing you can do to increase your credit score is to work with a dedicated credit repair company that understands the specific underlying factors that contribute to low scores. The process can take months, but the end result will be a higher credit score and the ability to qualify for the home loan of your dreams.