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Do You Need An 800 Credit Score?

Patrick Chism7-minute read
September 20, 2020

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Your credit score is a three-digit number that represents how well you manage debt. Your credit score plays a major role in your ability to get a personal loan, buy a home and open a new credit card. A high credit score is important – but just how high does your score need to be?

We’ll take a closer look at the 800-point FICO® Score. We’ll show you what it means to have a credit score of 800 and whether you should work on improving your score. We’ll also give you some tips you can use to work your way toward a perfect 850 score.

What Percentage Of The Population Has A Credit Score Over 800?

Most lenders use the FICO® Score when they need to run your credit. The FICO® scoring system assigns everyone a credit score between 300 and 850 points. Your payment history, rate of credit usage and length of account activity all play significant roles in your FICO® Score calculation.

The average credit score in the United States has steadily risen since 2009. Today, about 21.8% of consumers have a FICO® Score over 800 points, according to Experian™. In 2009, only about 18.2% of the population held a credit score greater than 800. The average credit score in the United States hit 704 in 2018, which is the highest its ever been.

Experts believe that increased consumer awareness and education is helping consumers understand the importance of managing credit well. The number of consumers with a credit application fell from 43.7% in 2014 to 42.2% in 2018. This means that fewer people have applied for credit than in previous years. Consumers also miss fewer payments now than in years past. In 2018, 23% of consumers had an account open with a debt collection agency for a past-due account. This number is 5.7% lower than when past-due accounts spiked in 2014.

Is It Possible To Get A Credit Score of 850?

It’s possible to achieve an 850 FICO® Score. However, it’s very difficult to get your score this high. An 850 credit score means that you have nearly perfect credit management. Very few people actually hold a perfect 850 credit score. Consumers with this score are incredibly unlikely to default on their loan obligations. If you can achieve an 850 credit score, you’ll have access to nearly any type of loan or card.

No lender will expect you to have an 850 credit score, no matter what you’re applying for. It’s possible to buy a home, go back to school and get a personal loan even if you have less-than-ideal credit. However, if you’re still determined to make it into the perfect credit club, you can use these tips to start your journey toward an 850-point score.

Watch Your Credit Utilization

The term “credit utilization” refers to the percentage of your total available credit that you use every month. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you put $100 on your card, you have a utilization rate of 10%. Your credit utilization contributes to about 30% of your credit score.

When you have a low credit utilization rate, your credit score goes up. This is because lenders assume that you don’t overly rely on credit. To reach an 850 credit score, try to keep your credit utilization at or lower than 10%. If that’s not possible, shoot for less than 30% utilization.

Make Your Payments On Time

Missed payments definitely aren’t a huge problem for you if you have an 800 credit score. However, the best way to continue working toward that perfect 850 score is to stay on top of all your payments. A single missed or late payment can seriously throw off your score.

If you add a new credit card or loan to your account, make sure that you write down your payment due date. You can also enable autopay, which deducts your minimum payment from your bank account on the day it’s due.

Don’t Cancel Old Cards

Some credit card holders think that they should cancel their old credit cards to get that last push toward a perfect score. After all, more cards mean more opportunities to overspend – right?

The truth is that closing old lines of credit (even ones you don’t use) can harm your credit score. When you close a credit line, you give yourself access to less credit and automatically raise your utilization. For example, imagine that you have a couple of credit cards and they each have a $1,000 limit. You put $300 on one card each month – your total utilization is 15% ($300/$2,000 total). You don’t use one of the cards at all, so you decide to close it. Even if you still spend $300 a month, your utilization is now 30% because you only have $1,000 of available credit.

Is a certain card tempting you to overspend? Keep it in a locked safe or desk drawer instead of closing it to maintain your score.

Be Patient

Reaching a perfect credit score isn’t something that happens overnight. Consistently work to build your credits and maintain great spending habits and you’ll see your scores rise. It might take years to achieve, but it isn’t impossible to have an 850 credit score.

What Does A Credit Score Of 800 Mean?

You’re still well above the average consumer if you have an 800 credit score. The average credit score is 704 points. If you have a credit score of 800, it means that you’ve spent a lot of time building your score and managing your payments well. Most lenders consider an 800 score to be in the “exceptional” range.

If you have a score of 800 points, you should be proud of yourself. You won’t have any trouble finding a mortgage loan or opening a new credit card with a score that high. Here are some things your 800 FICO® Score says about you:

  • You manage your payment due dates well. About 35% of your FICO® Score comes from your payment history. Lenders know that if they give you a loan or let you borrow money, you’re very likely to pay it back on time. Only 6% of people with a credit score of 800 have a late payment on their credit report. This makes you an ideal candidate for most lenders.
  • You don’t use too much of your credit every month. If you have a credit score of 800, you probably don’t put too much money on your credit cards. The average credit utilization rate for consumers with an 800 credit score is 11.5%. This tells lenders that you don’t need to use your credit card to cover regular recurring expenses. It also tells them that you probably have money saved for emergencies. These factors make it more likely that you won’t default on any money you borrow.
  • You have a long history of proper credit management. The amount of time that your accounts have been active contributes to about 15% of your score. The longer you’ve managed your credit, the less likely you are to get overwhelmed and miss a payment. You’ve probably had a few accounts open for years if you have an 800 credit score.

An 800 credit score isn’t just good for bragging rights. Some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you have a higher score include:

  • Lower interest rates: Lenders know that you aren’t likely to miss a loan or credit card payment when you have a high credit score. This means that more lenders will want to work with you. In order to stay competitive, each lender will have to give you their lowest rates possible – which means you save money.
  • Larger borrowing limits: A high credit score also tells lenders that you know how to manage your money. You’re unlikely to apply for a loan that you cannot pay back if you have a credit score of 800. You’ll have a much easier time getting approved for larger mortgage and auto loans with an 800 point FICO®.
  • More housing selection: Lenders aren’t the only ones who care about your credit score. Landlords also look at your credit history when they consider your rental application. If you have a high credit score, you’ll have more housing opportunities. This can be a major asset if you live in a city where housing is at a premium like New York City or San Francisco.

How Good Is A Credit Score Of 750?

You’re still well above the average with a 750 credit score, and you won’t have trouble opening a credit card or getting a loan. Most lenders consider a 750 credit score to be in the “very good” range, which is a single step below “exceptional.”

A 750 score isn’t something to worry about, but you may want to work on pushing your score into the 800s. Borrowers with scores in the 800s get the absolute best interest rates and credit card offers. It can be worth the extra effort to improve your score if you want the best of the best. It’s usually not difficult to boost your score from 750 to 800. Keep making your payments on time, manage your bills and you’ll see results.

Summary

Most lenders consider an 800 FICO® Score to be an exceptional score. About 21.8% of America has a credit score higher than 800 points. If you have a credit score of 800, it likely means that you manage debt well and never miss a loan payment. This makes you an ideal borrower and gives you access to more offers and lower interest rates.

You don’t necessarily need to have a perfect credit score to achieve your goals. You can buy a home, go back to school or open a credit card with a score below 850 points. However, it’s possible to achieve a perfect score with years of proper credit management.

If you have a score of 750 points, you’re still in the “very good” credit club. However, you may want to take some time to improve your score if you want the absolute best offers available to you.

For more tips on improving your credit, visit our credit and personal finance learning centers.

Rocket HQSM has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rocket HQ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Patrick Chism

Born and raised on a farm in the Ozarks, Patrick has a knack for making the best out of the worst situations. Where others see flooded farmland, he sees lakefront real estate. Where others see an infestation of bees, he sees free pollination and a upstart honey shop. Patrick’s articles will help you make the most out of the least, maximizing your returns while keeping a close eye on the wallet. When he’s not writing for Rocket Mortgage Patrick likes hiking, gardening, reading and making healthy foods taste like unhealthy foods.