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Highest Credit Score

The highest credit score possible is 850. This is considered the perfect credit score. 850 is the top score you can get in both the FICO and VantageScore credit scores.

Credit score ranges typically vary from poor to exceptional, with 300 being the minimum poor credit score and 850 being the maximum exceptional score.

Some of the key benefits of having a perfect credit score include paying lower insurance premiums, getting approved for credit or loans more easily, and qualifying for lower interest rates. As of the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, in the U.S., just 1.3% of people have the highest credit score of 850. [1] Experian - Who has a perfect credit score and what do they have in common?

The average credit score in the U.S. is 712 as of 2020 but this varies by state and is always changing based on people’s financial circumstances.


How to get a perfect credit score

Research from FICO [2] Traits of the 800 FICO score holder showed that consumers in the U.S. with credit scores of 800 or more typically have similar habits when it comes to their finances.

If you want to get a perfect credit score, consider practicing these:

There are many more tactics you can apply to build credit and increase your score over time. Some things may seem small, but they all contribute to your score.

It’s important to bear in mind that an 850 credit score can be elusive, and credit scores change all the time depending on people’s financial habits, debt, payment history and applying for new loans. If you manage to achieve a perfect credit score of 850, it may not stay that way for long.

How much do different factors impact credit scores?

There are some key pieces of financial data that affect your credit score, but they don’t all have an equal impact. Below you can see the breakdown of credit data categories and how FICO uses them to calculate your score:

The key piece of data that affects your credit score the most is your payment history, with this making up 35% of your overall score. [3] FICO - What’s in your credit score? Your payment history shows lenders how risky it is to extend credit to you, and how likely you are to make your payments on time. This means if you regularly make your payments on time, it will make a big contribution towards you having a better credit score.

Amounts owed makes up the second highest proportion of your credit score at 30%. Owing money on your credit accounts doesn’t necessarily make your credit score lower, but using a lot of your available credit could signal that you are overstretching your spending and more likely to default on payments.

The length of your credit history contributes to 15% of your overall credit score. Generally, people with longer credit histories and established accounts will have higher credit scores, but having a shorter credit history doesn’t necessarily mean your score will be low.

Other factors that contribute to your credit score are your credit mix (10%) and new credit accounts (10%). Your credit mix is the different types of credit cards, accounts, and loans you have, and FICO will factor this in when determining your score. Opening lots of new credit accounts in a short space of time can also have a negative impact on your score, especially if you have a short credit history.

The benefits of having a high credit score

There are many benefits to having a high credit score, especially when it comes to taking out new credit or loans. Some of these advantages include:

These things can all make life a little bit easier when it comes to your finances, and taking out credit or loans for a range of purchases.

How to Rent with Bad Credit

Leasing an apartment or home with bad credit can be a challenge, but if you follow the right steps some landlords may be willing to work with you.

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How long does it take to improve your credit score?

The amount of time it takes to improve your credit score depends on your unique financial situation. Generally, the things that affect how long it will take to increase your credit score are:

If you’re starting with no credit history, it will usually take between three and six months of credit activity to establish a score. [4] Experian - How long does it take to get a credit score? From there it could take months or years to build up to one of the highest credit scores.

What are the differences between an ‘exceptional’ credit score and an 850 credit score?

The exceptional credit range is a score between 800 and 850. Most people whose credit score falls within this range will enjoy the same benefits, regardless of having the perfect 850 score.

Achieving a perfect score is definitely a worthy goal and creates a mindset of financial ability, but a perfect score is not necessary to experience the most elite benefits of excellent credit. For example, most customers with a credit score of 760 or above can receive the best interest rates for loans or credit cards.

Those in the “Exceptional” range of 800-850 will generally be evaluated the same, so there’s no need to “break your back” in order to achieve a perfect score when an 800 is just as excellent in the eyes of a lender.

Aiming for a perfect credit score can still help you make positive habits and an excellent financial reputation which will save you money in the long run.

What might stop you from achieving a perfect credit score

While there are things you can do to help improve your credit score, there are some things that might stop you from achieving a perfect credit score.

How many people have a perfect credit score

In the U.S. 23.3% of people have a credit score between 800 and 850, the highest score range you can achieve, and 23.1% of people have a score between 750 and 799. [5] FICO - Average Credit Score in the U.S Just 3% of people fall into the lowest credit score range of 300-499.

Credit Score Range Percentage of People in the U.S.
300-499 3%
500-549 5.4%
550-599 7.1%
600-649 9.2%
650-699 12.5%
700-749 16.4%
750-799 23.1%
800-850 23.3%

Source [5] FICO - Average Credit Score in the U.S

That perfect score is definitely a great goal and would undoubtedly give you bragging rights among your family and friends, but it’s not necessary in order to reap the benefits of excellent credit. Instead, focus on making payments, lowering overall debt, and maintaining all your accounts and finances. Achieving an “Exceptional” credit score is possible, but it takes time and dedication.


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