What’s the Highest Credit Score?
Learn about the highest credit score and just how perfect your credit score needs to be
If you’ve ever wondered what the highest credit score 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 credit bureau Experian®’s research, a score above 760 could qualify you for the best interest rates.
Advantages of Having a High Credit Score
Your credit scores from FICO, VantageScore and other credit-scoring companies are based on information in your credit reports. So a high score is 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 a high credit score, 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. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 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 cell phone. With good credit, you may be less likely to have to prepay or put down a security deposit when opening a cell phone account.
- Look better to potential employers. Some companies might look at your credit reports as part of their background checks.
Credit Habits of People With High Credit Scores
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:
- Pay bills on time. 96% of those with an 800-plus FICO score pay their credit accounts on time. Payment history makes up about 35% of a FICO credit score.
- Keep credit use to a minimum and low balances on credit cards. FICO says that people with 800-plus FICO score ratings usually only use about 7% of their available credit. Total debt, which includes credit utilization, makes up about 30% of a FICO score.
- Avoid 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. FICO says the number of new credit applications makes up about 10% of its scoring calculations.
- Keep old accounts open. Those with high FICO scores have accounts open for an average of 11 years. Credit history length accounts for 15% of a FICO credit score. 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.
There are other credit habits that rank well, depending on which scoring model is used. For example, VantageScore places high importance on credit mix. And in its guidelines on how to get and keep a good credit score, the CFPB adds that regularly checking your credit score can also help.
Set Your Goal
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.
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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.
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 is an 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.