What we’ll cover:
For the major credit scoring models – FICO and VantageScore – 850 is the highest credit score you can achieve.
But is it actually possible to earn a perfect 850? Or is this score the stuff of legends?
The verdict: It is possible, though rare, to achieve a perfect credit score. Approximately 1% of FICO scores and fewer than 1% of VantageScore scores hit 850. (FYI, income doesn’t play a role in determining your credit score.)
So how exactly did these people achieve an 850?
There’s no single way of knowing, but individuals with a perfect score tend to share a few characteristics. According to Experian, people with FICO scores of 850 have an average of 6.4 credit cards and carry an average debt of $3,025.
There’s also about 22 percent of Americans who aren’t perfect, but are pretty close – those in the 800 club, who are considered “exceptional” on the FICO range.
If you’re a member of the 800 club, first of all... well done. You should also know that generally speaking, lenders don’t distinguish scores within this range. So whether you have an 801 or 850 doesn’t typically make a difference to lenders.
While aspirational goals are fine, the good news is that practically speaking, you do not need a perfect credit score.
You can still qualify for things like credit cards and competitive deals on loans with a good-to-excellent score. And you may still be able to qualify for the best interest rates with a score above 760.
Here are some other potential benefits of having a high credit score:
Rather than fixating on 850 as the destination, think of building good habits to increase your credit score over time. There are certain things you can do to improve your score, as well as things to avoid because they might ding your rating.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
The Do Nots:
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.