- A perfect credit score of 850 is extremely hard to attain.
- You generally don't need to worry about raising your credit score once it gets high enough.
At some point, it's okay to resign yourself to a credit score that's excellent but not perfect.
Your credit score isn't just a random number. It's calculated based on different factors that speak to how reliable a borrower you are.
The higher your credit score, the less risk a lender takes on when loaning you money, and the less risk a credit card issuer takes on when extending a line of revolving credit to you. That's why it's important to establish and maintain a strong credit score.
The highest FICO credit score you can get is an 850. If your score is an 800 right now, there's clearly some room for growth. But that doesn't mean you should spin your wheels in an effort to raise your score or aim for 850.
When excellent credit is good enough
A credit score of 800 is generally considered excellent. It's an indication you pay bills on time, you have a healthy mix of loans and credit cards, and you're not carrying too high a balance on your various cards.
If you apply for a loan or a credit card with a score of 800, you're extremely likely to get approved. You're also likely to snag an affordable interest rate on a loan with a score that high. As such, if you have a credit score of 800, it definitely pays to work on maintaining it. But do you need to boost it? Probably not.
Once your credit score reaches a certain level -- usually, the upper 700s -- it almost doesn't matter exactly what it is. Or, to put it another way, raising a credit score of 800 to an 810 or 815 may not change anything for you when it comes to borrowing money or getting a new credit card. If you apply for a 30-year mortgage, for example, and the best rate lenders in your area are offering is 3.9%, you're likely to snag that rate whether your score is an 800, an 810, an 815, or a perfect 850.
In fact, it really doesn't pay to chase a perfect credit score because that 850 is nearly impossible to attain. The simple act of applying for a new credit card can drop your score by a handful of points. And if there's a credit card offer that appeals to you -- say, one with a generous sign-up bonus -- then you shouldn't deprive yourself of that offer because you're worried it will wreck your chances of attaining perfect credit.
Don't stress yourself needlessly
A credit score of 800 is extremely respectable, and it's one you should be happy with. That said, it's not a bad idea to check your credit report and see why your score is sitting at an 800 instead of a higher number. It may be the case that you simply don't have accounts open long enough to move your score higher, as the length of your credit history also plays a role in calculating your score.
Either way, while it's certainly possible to raise a credit score of 800 to a higher number, it's not something worth stressing over. As long as your credit score hovers around that level, you should be in a prime position to borrow affordably when you want to.
Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2025
If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Our Research Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2023 The Ascent. All rights reserved.