They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your credit score.
The three-digit number that makes up your credit score helps lenders deem your creditworthiness -- or the likelihood that you’ll default on your payments, or not pay back what you borrow. Your credit score helps determine whether a lender will approve you for a loan or line of credit, and the terms of that loan, including your interest rate. But building a solid credit score takes time, particularly if you have your eyes set on that elusive 800 to 850 credit score.
“It takes three things to build strong credit: being diligent about making payments on time every single time, being consistent and being dull,” said Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy for Experian. “From a lender’s perspective, they don’t like surprises. So, it’s all about how you manage the credit you have available to you and doing it well over time. It’s not about having lots of accounts or high credit limits.”
Considered “exceptional” by FICO, an 800 credit score or higher can help you get approved for larger loans with more favorable terms and lower interest rates -- a compelling concept in our current rising rate environment. But only 21% of people with a FICO credit score have a score of 800 or above, according to a report by FICO, while the average has remained steadfast at 714 since September 2021.
Although it isn’t a perfect credit score, an 800 is pretty close. Below we’ll look at what it means to have a high score, how to get there and the best ways to maintain one.
What does it mean if you have a credit score over 800?
Your credit score is considered exceptional if you have an 800 under the FICO system -- one of the two main credit scoring models used in the US. But to achieve this level of success, you must have a nearly perfect credit history. That means not missing payments and keeping your credit utilization, the ratio of debt to available credit, well below 30%.
FICO calculates your credit score based on five factors: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit mix and new credit. If you have an 800 credit score, you likely pay your bills on time, have a healthy mix of credit (meaning accounts other than just credit cards), use a small percentage of your available credit and limit new credit inquiries. But having a near-perfect credit history doesn’t guarantee automatic approval for new credit products because lenders consider more than just your credit score. When you apply for a new line of credit, a lender needs to grasp what kind of borrower you are. They consider any indicator of your ability to repay a debt, including your income, employment history and existing debts.
Still, an 800 credit score is something to be proud of because it shows you put in the work to maintain healthy credit accounts. And most lenders find that to be a solid indicator of what kind of borrower you are when it comes to credit.
How to get an 800 credit score
1. Build your credit history
If you feel like you’ve exhausted your options when it comes to building your credit because you consistently pay your credit card bills on time but haven’t hit 800 yet, it’s time to sit back and wait. Your length of credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score. And as your existing credit accounts age, so does your credit score. A longer credit history can help boost your credit score, so try to avoid closing old credit accounts even if you don’t necessarily use them every day.
A scarce mix of credit accounts can also make it hard to turn a good credit score into an exceptional one. Different types of credit accounts, such as revolving credit accounts, installment loans or retail accounts, account for 10% of your credit score. A mix of credit shows lenders you can handle more than one type of credit account (assuming each account is in good standing).
2. Make consistent on-time payments
Payment history is the most important credit factor, accounting for 35% of your FICO score. You must pay your bills on time every month. If you don’t make a payment by its due date, you typically have 30 days to pay an outstanding bill before your lender reports the missed payment to the three major credit bureaus. However, don’t use this as an excuse not to pay on time. Missing a payment can have several long-term consequences, including interest charges, late payment fees and penalty APRs. Enroll in autopay to ensure your balances are paid on time.
3. Maintain a low credit utilization
Amounts owed, or credit utilization, make up 30% of your credit score. It measures the amount of credit you use in relation to your total credit limit. Experts suggest using at most 30% of your credit limit to maintain a healthy credit score. But people with credit scores over 800 use about 7% of their available credit, according to FICO.
You might even consider treating your credit card like a debit card to keep your credit utilization low. Paying off your credit card as you spend can help you maintain a low credit utilization and avoid accruing interest charges, late fees and other penalties.
4. Add your bills to your credit report
You can report your monthly bills and positive banking activity to your credit file with free tools like Experian Boost and UltraFICO. You can even report your rent payments through third-party sites like Rental Kharma, RentTrack and PayYourRent. Keep in mind, however, programs like Experian Boost and UltraFICO only impact your Experian credit report.
“If you’re working to build your credit history, have your rent, cell phone payment, natural gas bill, electric bill and water bill reported because they can all help increase your score,” said Griffin. “Even today, things like your Netflix bill can help you build your credit history. So take advantage of those [tools] available to you.”
5. Monitor your credit report
Check your credit reports with the three credit bureaus regularly to ensure your information is correct, and there are no errors. Errors can impact your credit and severely damage your credit score, so it’s important to watch out for accounts you don’t recognize, incorrect account statuses, derogatory marks, unknown addresses and incorrect balances or credit limits.
“If an error is found, it is best to notify the financial institution of the issue for two reasons,” said Max Axler, chief credit officer at Synchrony. “The first is that it might be a systemic issue and without this feedback from consumers, the financial institution may not identify the issue. The second is that financial institutions have robust processes to take consumer feedback, diligence the issue and modify the reporting to the bureaus.”
If you do find any errors, you can dispute any errors for free with the credit bureaus. You can obtain your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com -- and through the end of 2023, the credit agencies have partnered with this site to offer you a free credit report each week.
The benefits of having an 800 credit score
An 800 credit score can lead to many benefits, such as lower rates, better credit card offers and lower insurance premiums.
“Don’t worry about having a perfect score and don’t worry too much about [your] score fluctuating, and sometimes even fairly significantly,” said Griffin. “Scores will change as your credit history changes. And it can be 40 or 50 point swings, but the reality is a swing from 820 to a 780 doesn’t mean anything in real terms related to getting the credit [you] need. You’re still going to get the best terms and the best rates. I encourage people to strive for the highest scores they can get. But don’t panic when you see them move up and down.”
Keep in mind an 800 credit score doesn’t guarantee these benefits, but you’re more likely to receive more desirable benefits with an exceptional score, including the following:
- Better approval odds: It depends on the card, but a credit score in the good to exceptional range (700+) can likely qualify you for some of the best credit cards, including rewards cards earning cash back, points or miles, luxury travel cards and lower annual percentage rates (APRs). Different tiers of credit cards are available for all credit levels, but an 800 score bypasses the minimum credit score for most credit products. If you are in the home-buying process, for example, you can typically get a conventional loan with as little as a 620 credit score. But the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate.
- Lower interest rates: An 800 credit score can help you secure some of the best interest rates available. Low interest rates can help you save thousands of dollars throughout the payback period on any line of credit or loan. For example, if you’re looking to refinance your home loan, a higher credit score can help you lock in a lower mortgage refinance rate.
- Higher credit limits: You generally have more purchasing power with an 800 credit score, meaning lenders are more willing to lend you higher credit limits. With a high credit limit, it’s easier to maintain a lower credit utilization ratio.
- Lower insurance premiums: Eight states restrict the use of credit scores when determining insurance rates, including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Utah and Washington. However, most states allow insurance companies to use your credit score to determine insurance rates. And an 800 credit score will likely qualify you for a lower premium on your insurance policy.
How to maintain (and grow) an exceptional credit score
Half the battle with an 800 credit score is keeping it high. Even after you put in the work to achieve an exceptional credit score, you must continue practicing healthy credit habits because one missed payment -- or too many credit inquiries -- can have an adverse impact on your credit score. Your credit score fluctuates, and one wrong move can send you backward. But if you consistently pay your credit card bills on time, keep your balances low and monitor your credit report regularly, your credit score will thrive.
“It’s normal to have some volatility in your credit score from time to time as purchasing needs fluctuate,” said Axler. “[But] I think the key is doing what you can by creating positive momentum and being patient. Scores are designed to reduce volatility in movement and so it can take time, particularly if you are rebuilding your credit score.”
The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.
FICO® score ranges vary — either from 300 to 850 or 250 to 900, depending on the scoring model. The higher the score, the better your credit.How to get a credit score of 800 or more? ›
- Pay Your Bills on Time, Every Time. Perhaps the best way to show lenders you're a responsible borrower is to pay your bills on time. ...
- Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low. ...
- Be Mindful of Your Credit History. ...
- Improve Your Credit Mix. ...
- Review Your Credit Reports.
- Pay your credit card bills often. ...
- Keep a solid payment history. ...
- Consider your credit mix. ...
- Increase your credit limit. ...
- Don't close old accounts. ...
- Regularly monitor your credit report. ...
- Only apply for credit when you really need it.
The good news is that when your score is low, each positive change you make is likely to have a significant impact. For instance, going from a poor credit score of around 500 to a fair credit score (in the 580-669 range) takes around 12 to 18 months of responsible credit use.Has anyone got a credit score of 1000? ›
A credit score of 1,000 is not possible because credit scoring models simply do not go that high. According to Experian, some credit scoring models reach upwards of 900 or 950, but those are industry-specific scores that are only used by certain institutions.Does anyone have 850 credit score? ›
While achieving a perfect 850 credit score is rare, it's not impossible. About 1.3% of consumers have one, according to Experian's latest data. FICO scores can range anywhere from 300 to 850. The average score was 714, as of 2021.Why can't I get my credit score over 800? ›
Since the length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score, negative, minimal or no credit history can stop you from reaching an 800 credit score. To solve this problem, focus on building your credit. You can do this by taking out a credit-builder loan or applying for your first credit card.How long does it take to raise your credit score to 800? ›
Depending on where you're starting from, It can take several years or more to build an 800 credit score. You need to have a few years of only positive payment history and a good mix of credit accounts showing you have experience managing different types of credit cards and loans.How to get 800 credit score in 45 days? ›
- Check your credit report. ...
- Pay your bills on time. ...
- Pay off any collections. ...
- Get caught up on past-due bills. ...
- Keep balances low on your credit cards. ...
- Pay off debt rather than continually transferring it.
The base FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, and a good credit score is between 670 and 739 within that range.
A perfect score of 850 will give you bragging rights, but any score of 800 or up is considered exceptional and will usually give you access to the best rates on credit cards, auto loans, and any other loans.Who has the highest credit score? ›
For most credit-scoring models, including VantageScore 3.0 and FICO, the highest credit score possible is 850. We were able to speak to two Americans who belong to the exclusive FICO 850 Club: Brad Stevens of Austin, Texas, and John Ulzheimer of Atlanta.Can your credit score go up 50 points in a month? ›
For most people, increasing a credit score by 100 points in a month isn't going to happen. But if you pay your bills on time, eliminate your consumer debt, don't run large balances on your cards and maintain a mix of both consumer and secured borrowing, an increase in your credit could happen within months.What is a good credit score to buy a house? ›
It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.What is the average credit limit for 800 credit score? ›
For those with 800-plus scores, their average credit card limits are $69,346. That's up from the $58,514 average we found in May 2021.Does anyone have a 999 credit score? ›
There's no universal number that indicates a good score because each credit agency uses a different scoring system. Experian, for example, uses a range from 0 to 999. A score of between 881 and 960 is good, between 961 and 999 your score is excellent.How rare is 900 credit score? ›
What percentage of the population has a credit score over 900? Only about 1% of people have a credit score of 850. A 900 credit score can be thought of as fairly unrealistic.How rare is an 800 credit score? ›
According to a report by FICO, only 23% of the scorable population has a credit score of 800 or above.What is the average credit score in America? ›
Credit scores are three-digit numbers that show an important piece of your financial history. Credit scores help lenders decide whether to grant you credit. The average credit score in the United States is 698, based on VantageScore® data from February 2021. It's a myth that you only have one credit score.Why is it so hard to get a credit score of 850? ›
According to FICO, about 98% of “FICO High Achievers” have zero missed payments. And for the small 2% who do, the missed payment happened, on average, approximately four years ago. So while missing a credit card payment can be easy to do, staying on top of your payments is the only way you will one day reach 850.
Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.What population has credit score of 800? ›
Less than 21% of people have a credit score over 800. A credit score of 800+ is considered perfect credit, indicates that a borrower uses credit very responsibly, and qualifies the person for the best loan and credit card terms.How can I raise my credit score 100 points overnight? ›
- Get Your Free Credit Report. ...
- Know How Your Credit Score Is Calculated. ...
- Improve Your Debt-to-Income Ratio. ...
- Keep Your Credit Information Up to Date. ...
- Don't Close Old Credit Accounts. ...
- Make Payments on Time. ...
- Monitor Your Credit Report. ...
- Keep Your Credit Balances Low.
|Average FICO® Score by Generation|
|Silent Generation (77+)||760||760|
|Baby boomers (58-76)||740||742|
|Generation X (42-57)||705||706|
It's a good idea to pay off your credit card balance in full whenever you're able. Carrying a monthly credit card balance can cost you in interest and increase your credit utilization rate, which is one factor used to calculate your credit scores.How can I raise my credit score to 800 in 30 days? ›
- Dispute Credit-Report Mistakes. ...
- Make a Big Debt Payment. ...
- Reduce Your Credit Card Statement Balance. ...
- Become an Authorized User. ...
- Dispute Negative Authorized-User Records. ...
- Ask for a Higher Credit Limit. ...
- Write a Goodwill Letter.
An 800-plus credit score shows lenders you are an exceptional borrower. You may qualify for better mortgage and auto loan terms with a high credit score. You may also qualify for credit cards with better rewards and perks, such as access to airport lounges and free hotel breakfasts.What is a good credit score for my age? ›
|Age in Years||Credit Score|
|20 to 29||660 (Fair)|
|30 to 39||672 (Good)|
|40 to 49||683 (Good)|
|50 to 59||703 (Good)|
You can have many years of good credit under your belt without reaching the coveted 800 club. Make no mistake, it is possible to achieve an 800 credit score — and it's easier the longer you've had a line of credit open.How hard is it to get a 800 credit score? ›
But exceptional credit is largely based on how well you manage debt and for how long. Earning an 800-plus credit score isn't easy, he said, but “it's definitely attainable.”
What is considered a “normal” credit limit among most Americans? The average American had access to $30,233 in credit across all of their credit cards in 2021, according to Experian. But the average credit card balance was $5,221 — well below the average credit limit.How much is a 850 credit score worth in money? ›
The average mortgage loan amount for consumers with Exceptional credit scores is $208,617. People with FICO® Scores of 850 have an average auto-loan debt of $17,030.What is the lowest credit score ever? ›
Most of the credit scores that lenders use in the United States, including most versions of the FICO Score, range from 300 to 850. Therefore, most financial professionals generally accept that 300 is the lowest credit score a consumer can have.Is 850 credit score rare? ›
Only about 1.6% of the 232 million U.S. consumers with a credit score have a perfect 850, according to FICO's most recent statistics.What percentage of Americans have a high credit score? ›
Top 10 Credit Score Statistics and Facts
As of April 2021, 23.3% of Americans have a credit score between 800 and 850. Americans with credit scores over 800 have an average credit utilization ratio of 5.7%. The average VantageScore of Gen Z Americans in 2020 was 654.
The minimum credit limit on a Mastercard Black card is $5,000. However, your credit limit could be higher depending on your creditworthiness.Does paying off all debt increase credit score? ›
While paying off your debts often helps improve your credit scores, this isn't always the case. It's possible that you could see your credit scores drop after fulfilling your payment obligations on a loan or credit card debt. However, that doesn't mean you should ignore what you owe.What do black credit cards mean? ›
What is a black card? A black credit card is a type of extremely exclusive credit card that is almost solely reserved for the ultrawealthy. Typically, the cards are available on an invitation-only basis. The threshold for entry into this elite echelon of card ownership is incredibly high, as are the annual fees.Can your credit score jump 100 points in a year? ›
It is possible to increase your credit score by a large amount in a year or less. Two ways to quickly boost your credit are to dispute any errors on your credit reports and pay down credit card balances. Make sure you also pay your bills on time and keep new credit applications to a minimum.What raises credit score? ›
Factors that contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of different credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.
Lenders like to see a mix of both installment loans and revolving credit on your credit portfolio. So if you pay off a car loan and don't have any other installment loans, you might actually see that your credit score dropped because you now have only revolving debt.What credit score is needed for a $350 000 house? ›
Some mortgage lenders are happy with a credit score of 580, but many prefer 620-660 or higher.What credit score is needed to buy a $250000 house? ›
Conventional loans typically require a minimum credit score of 620, though some may require a score of 660 or higher.What credit score do I need to buy a 350k house? ›
According to FICO® credit bureau data, the best credit score to buy a house is 760 and higher, which tends to unlock the best mortgage rate. However, to qualify for a home loan, you'll need at least the minimum credit score to buy a house, which ranges from about 500 – 680, depending on the mortgage program.What is the credit limit for 50000 salary? ›
What will be my credit limit for a salary of ₹50,000? Typically, your credit limit is 2 or 3 times of your current salary. So, if your salary is ₹50,000, you can expect your credit limit to be anywhere between ₹1 lakh and ₹1.5 lakh.How many credit cards is too many to have open? ›
It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.Is there a difference between a 750 and 800 credit score? ›
A 750 credit score is Very Good, but it can be even better. If you can elevate your score into the Exceptional range (800-850), you could become eligible for the very best lending terms, including the lowest interest rates and fees, and the most enticing credit-card rewards programs.What is a 900 credit score called? ›
VantageScore rates any score from 781 to 850 as Excellent. FICO calls its highest range Exceptional, and that applies to any score between 800 and 850.
For a score with a range between 300 and 850, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A score of 800 or above on the same range is considered to be excellent. Most consumers have credit scores that fall between 600 and 750.What is the highest credit score anyone can get? ›
FICO scores range from 300 to 850.
- Low interest rates on loans and credit cards.
- Greater Chance of Loan and Credit Card Approval.
- More bargaining power.
- Easily Access Utility Services.
- Easier Rental Property Approval.
- Obtain Higher Credit Limits.
We provide a score from between 0-999 and consider a 'good' score to be anywhere between 881 and 960, with 'fair' or average between 721 and 880.Is there a 950 credit score? ›
Most credit scoring systems use a scale that ranges from 300 to 850. There are, however, some credit scoring models that go up to 900 or 950, including industry-specific scores used by certain institutions.Why isn't Credit Karma accurate? ›
The credit scores and credit reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. They should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus — but they may not match other reports and scores out there.What is the lowest credit score someone has had? ›
FICO & Vantage both set the lowest possible credit score at 300. However, almost nobody has this low of a score. In fact, according to FICO, the average credit score in America is 704. A bad FICO credit score ranges from 300-579, while a bad Vantage score ranges 300-499.What credit score is good for buying a car? ›
A good credit score — typically a score of 680 or higher — can help you secure a low interest rate from the dealer. In fact, taking your score from 600 to 780 could halve your rate. Lower monthly payments.What will an 850 credit score get me? ›
With an 850 credit score, you are well-positioned to qualify for any financial product, from the best credit cards and personal loans to the best auto loans and mortgages. An 850 credit score doesn't guarantee you approval, however, because your income and existing debt obligations matter, too.How long does it take to get 800 credit score? ›
Americans with a credit score of at least 800 have seen an average of just 1.8 credit inquiries in the past two years. New credit accounts for 10% of your credit score, and new inquiries remain on your credit report for two years.