What a Vantage Score “D” means and how to make it better

Dear Experian,

I had a credit report and score run. My score is 687. The report said my risk grade is “D” (Non-Prime).What does the risk grade mean? Is “D” good or bad.



Dear OVE,

A “D” isn’t good, but it’s not as bad as it could be, and you can take steps to make it better.

The VantageScore associates a letter grade similar to the grades you may have seen in school to the credit score. The idea is to give you a more familiar reference to help better understand what the number means in terms of lending risk.

In school, a “D” means you are almost failing. In terms of the credit score, it suggests you are a high lending risk, and that you may not be able to qualify for the credit you want or will pay more to get it.

The VantageScore also provides a description of what the number represents in common lending terms. In your case, the score is described as “non-prime.” In lending, “prime” is good. Non-prime is another way of saying you may be a high lending risk.

However, when you got your score and the letter-grade description, you also should have received a list of exactly what from your credit report was affecting the score most positively and most negatively. Those are the risk factors specific to your credit report.

Because your score is so low, I suspect you have missed payments in your history. You can’t change that now, but you can continue to do the things that are having the positive impact. Pay down your debt, don’t miss payments and your credit score very likely will get better. In time, you could get a “C,” and eventually even a “B” or an “A,” and along with it, the credit you want.

Because risk factors are very consistent from one credit score to another, you also should see improvement in all of your other credit scores, as well.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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