Fair credit is a term used by the majority of UK credit reference agencies to define people who are in the middle of the credit spectrum. These people do not have good credit, but they do not have bad credit either.
From an issuer point of view these customers might make an attractive prospect for bad credit lenders, whilst issuers of credit to people with good/excellent credit might well reject them or offer a very limited credit line.
Credit card products are in a continual state of renewal and change, so specific cards change from week to week. However, after a long period with few cards designed to target people with fair credit, a number of fair credit products now exist.
These products do not offer the table-topping rates that people with good or excellent credit can expect, but they are competitive products nonetheless, with many featuring balance transfer opportunities, cash back, and other attributes commonly associated with the best credit cards.
In some respects credit scores are of little use when considering which credit card to apply for, since credit card issuers do not use them to decide whether or not to accept an applicant. However, they can be a useful tool for people who have had applications rejected and are looking to track their progress back to creditworthiness.
Two of the UK’s three credit reference agencies (Equifax and Experian) use the term ‘fair’ as a category for creditworthiness, but each relates the term to a different numerical score.
Equifax use a range of 0 to 600 to rate people’s credit scores. Someone with a score of between 367 and 419 is considered to have fair credit.
Experian grades individual’s credit as a number from 0 to 999. People with fair credit are defined as those with a score from 721 to 880.
Callcredit does not use the term ‘fair’ to define peoples’ credit status, having a score from 1 to 5 instead.