How a 680 credit score went from an asset to a liability


Your credit score hasn't changed, but its value has. While a number like 680 may have earned approval for a mortgage, car loan or credit card with a great rate just a few short years ago, now more Americans are finding they need scores of 720 or even higher to get those same deals. If you're thinking about borrowing long-term -- say, for a five-year car loan or a 30-year mortgage -- this new reality could mean paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

What's going on? Blame today's credit crunch, the terrible economy and the waves of defaults banks have been shouldering for the past couple of years. "I think the recent crisis our country is facing with regard to people defaulting on loans and credit cards has been a main driver for that," said Megan Bridgett, a training manager at the credit counseling organization GreenPath Debt Solutions in Detroit. "Creditors are seeking less risky investments. They're going to want to mitigate the risks of lending money, which might be why we're seeing the increased standards"