by Christy Bieber | Dec. 27, 2019
Want to join the elite few Americans with top credit scores? Here's how you can do it.
While Americans have several different credit scores, scores by the Fair Isaac Corporation -- called FICO® Scores -- are some of the most widely used. These credit scores are on a scale from 300 to 850, with higher scores preferred by lenders.
A score is considered good once it's around 670 or higher, but you don't have to settle for just a good score. You can aim to earn excellent credit and join the elite ranks of Americans with scores above 800.
Just 1 in 5 Americans have hit that milestone, though, according to data from FICO. Still, with a little patience and a lot of responsible borrowing behavior, you could become one of them.
To earn a credit score above 800, you need to do pretty well on every metric that's used to determine your score. Typically, you'll need:
While earning a credit score of 800 or higher would give you a major leg up in qualifying for loans at favorable rates, it's not necessarily essential to have a score that high. In fact, a score above 800 is generally considered to be an "exceptional" score, while scores above 740 are classified as very good and should enable most of the borrowing you want to do.
Still, since the key to earning a top credit score is being responsible with credit, there's no harm in shooting for a score of 800 or higher. In fact, you may even want to try for the elusive perfect 850 score just for the fun of it.
As long as you pay them off each month, credit cards are a no-brainer for savvy Americans. They protect against fraud far better than debit cards, help raise your credit score, and can put hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars in rewards back in your pocket each year.
But with so many cards out there, you need to choose wisely. This top-rated card offers the ability to pay 0% interest on purchases into 2022, has some of the most generous cash back rewards we’ve ever seen (up to 5%!), and somehow still sports a $0 annual fee.
That’s why our expert – who has reviewed hundreds of cards – signed up for this one personally. Click here to get free access to our expert’s top pick.
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