Edited by: Chris Dong
& Keri Stooksbury
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If you’re seeking the perfect credit score, you’ll have to aim high. While about a quarter of Americans have excellent credit, few achieve the ultimate highest score for credit.
Let’s look at the highest credit rating score possible, how you can get there, and what happens when you hit the high score.
The perfect credit score number is 850. The highest FICO credit score you can have is 850, and the highest possible VantageScore is 850, too. That said, anything over 800 is basically perfect. But if you’re going for the ultimate high score in the game of credit, your target is 850.
Shooting for perfect credit — or something close to it — is a worthy goal, as it shows lenders you’re financially responsible. A high credit score can help you access great terms on the best credit products, such as credit cards with excellent rewards and benefits. It can also help you save a lot of money on interest, as you should qualify for the lowest rates when you have excellent credit.
A 900 credit score sounds like a new high score — but it’s not real. An 850 is the highest achievable credit score on both FICO or VantageScore credit scoring models commonly used for lending decisions today.
Hot Tip: There are auto and bank card industry FICO score versions that range from 250 to 900, but these aren’t the scores lenders look at for credit cards.
For most people, it’s a long and boring road to an 850 credit score. It basically boils down to using credit responsibly. That means paying off your bills each month on time without using too much of your available credit. You’ll have to keep it up for roughly a few decades — no small feat.
These are a few of the things you can do to get a perfect credit score:
Hot Tip: It doesn’t always take decades to get a perfect credit score. If you are added as an authorized user on an old credit card in good standing, your credit rating should reflect the credit history of that account.
A perfect 850 credit score is possible, but a feat not many people have achieved. About 1.6% of the U.S. scorable population has an 850 credit score.
While few people have an absolutely perfect credit score of 850, 23.3% — nearly a quarter — of Americans have a credit score higher than 800. Reaching an 800 score requires great credit habits, but it’s far more achievable than a bulletproof 850.
So you hit the high score of 850, what happens? Don’t expect the credits to roll and get keys to the bank as if you’re playing a video game! But you can access great credit products.
The benefits of an 850 score aren’t that different from the benefits of excellent credit. Sure, you do pick up a new bragging right once you roll from 849 to 850, but ultimately, you can access most credit products with excellent credit — no perfect 850 score needed.
The benefits of an 850 credit score include approvals for most credit products and access to the best terms, such as the lowest interest rates available to the best customers. That translates to:
However, you don’t necessarily have to go all the way to 850 for these benefits — just getting to an excellent credit score is likely to grant you access to the best credit opportunities.
Excellent credit — a FICO score of 800 or higher — means you have a credit score that’s far above the average score for other U.S. consumers. Lenders can see that you’re a trustworthy borrower and you have a good chance of approval for most credit products.
It’s a fun but wholly unnecessary goal to achieve the highest credit score of 850. Getting it is likely to take years of practicing responsible credit, which can be good for your financial life. But once you achieve excellent credit, you’ll already have access to basically all of the benefits of a perfect credit score.
The highest credit score you can achieve in the U.S. is 850.
You don’t start with a perfect credit score. You’ll start out with a fairly low credit score and can work up from there.
There’s not a 900 credit score, at least not in traditional credit scoring. There are FICO auto and bank card scores with a range from 250 to 900, but generally, the credit score consumers are concerned with only goes to 850.
The excellent credit score range — 800 to 850 — has the highest percentage of consumers at 23.3%. It’s followed closely by very good credit — 750 to 799 — which has 23.1% of people.
You can build a high credit score by practicing responsible credit habits over time, such as paying your bills on time, avoiding derogatory marks, and maintaining low balances.
Most mortgage lenders will want you to have at least a 620 FICO credit score to qualify for a conventional mortgage, but an excellent credit score of 800 or higher will help to get you the best rates and terms.
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