What’s the Highest Credit Score Possible?

If you’ve ever wondered what the highest credit score that you can have is, it’s 850. That’s at the top end of the most common FICO® and VantageScore® credit scores. And these two companies provide some of the most popular credit-scoring models in America.

But do you need a perfect credit score? Not necessarily. According to research by credit bureau Experian®, a score above 760 could qualify you for the best interest rates.

Key Takeaways

  • An 850 credit score is considered the highest score according to the most common FICO and VantageScore credit models.
  • There are several factors that go into determining a credit score, such as payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit inquiries and credit mix.
  • A higher credit score can help you qualify for better financing options.

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Understanding Credit Score Ranges

Sure, you want to achieve a high credit score. But how do you know when your credit score moves from the “good” to “excellent” range? 

Not all scoring models are the same. But most label a range of scores from “poor” to “excellent” as a way to show how a lender might view them. FICO breaks its scores down like this:

  • Poor: 300-579
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Good: 670-739
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Exceptional: 800-850
FICO good credit scores range

Source: MyFICO.com

What Factors Affect Credit Scores?

Credit-scoring companies use the information from your credit reports to calculate your credit scores. There are a few different factors that credit-scoring companies consider. And how they affect your scores depends on the credit-scoring model and the company doing the scoring. 

Here’s how FICO groups and weighs the different credit factors:

What Are the Advantages of Having High Credit Scores?

Credit scores are based on information in your credit reports. So high scores are a sign of healthy credit. And that’s good news to lenders. It can be a sign that you’re likely to use credit responsibly. With high credit scores, you might:

  • Pay lower insurance premiums. Some insurance companies use your credit reports to help them decide whether to approve insurance applications and how much to charge in premiums.
  • Qualify for lower interest rates. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lenders typically offer the lowest interest rates to those with the highest credit scores.
  • Get approved for a higher amount. You may be able to get a higher limit on your credit card or a bigger loan.
  • Have more housing choices. Higher credit could make it easier to rent an apartment or get a mortgage.
  • Find it easier to get utility services. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the better your credit history, the easier it’ll be to get utility services.
  • Have an easier time getting a cellphone. With good credit, you may be less likely to have to prepay or put down a security deposit when opening a cellphone account.
  • Qualify for potential jobs. Some companies might look at your credit reports as part of their background checks.

How to Get a Perfect Credit Score

In 2019, FICO released research about the habits of U.S. consumers who reached scores of 800 or greater using its FICO Score 8 model. According to that study, people with high credit scores followed a similar pattern.

Some of the habits these people practiced included:

  • Paying their bills on time. About 96% of those with an 800-plus FICO score pay their credit accounts on time. 
  • Keeping their credit use to a minimum and keeping low balances on credit cards. FICO says that people with 800-plus FICO score ratings usually only use about 7% of their available credit. 
  • Avoiding credit checks. You probably can’t avoid a hard inquiry here and there, but “overapplying” within a short period of time might hurt your score. 
  • Keeping old accounts open. Those with high FICO scores have accounts open for an average of 11 years. Just remember that keeping an account open may not be enough, since it could eventually be closed due to inactivity. Be sure to contact your lender for details.

High Credit Scores in a Nutshell

A perfect credit score is generally considered to be 850. And that’s a great goal to aim for. But Experian notes that “lenders don’t typically distinguish between scores that are in the ‘exceptional’ range of 800 to 850.” That means you’re unlikely to get any more benefits even if you do have a perfect credit score. 

You can keep an eye on your credit with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free to use, even if you’re not a Capital One customer. And using CreditWise won’t hurt your credit score. You can also get free copies of your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

Your CreditWise score is calculated using the TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0 model, which is one of many credit scoring models. It may not be the same model your lender uses, but it can be one accurate measure of your credit health. The availability of the CreditWise tool depends on our ability to obtain your credit history from TransUnion. Some monitoring and alerts may not be available to you if the information you enter at enrollment does not match the information in your credit file at (or you do not have a file at) one or more consumer reporting agencies.

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