What Is the Highest Credit Score Possible?

The highest FICO® Credit Score is 850, and if you have ever hit this mark, even for a moment, count yourself a rare financial creature.1

Is it even possible to hit this level of perfection in the realm of credit worthiness? Yes, some people have done it.2 Is attaining this credit score limit a worthwhile goal? Probably not.

What is a perfect credit score good for?

There is no prize, no special deal and not even any lasting bragging right to an 850 credit score.

Those who have an 850 will likely also see their credit score lowered if they apply for new credit. That’s because once new creditors take a look at that perfect score, they may offer you a credit card or low interest rate loan that is hard to refuse and the action of accepting the card or loan might impact your FICO® Score.3

Also, bear in mind that there is more than one credit scoring system. FICO® is the most common. But there are others, including VantageScore, which was designed by the three major credit reporting agencies. It’s highly unlikely you would have a perfect score from more than one of these algorithms at the same time.

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What does it take to get the best credit score?

A credit score measures how likely you are to repay money you’ve borrowed. This can only be demonstrated over time. How long does it take to hit 850? Since credit payment histories can go back seven years — and 10 in the case of bankruptcy — you may need a seven-year run.4

During this time, avoid using too much of your credit by carrying large balances. In some cases, that can mean using roughly less than one-third of your available credit at any given time, since a credit utilization ratio is part of the scoring system. Using a lot more than that could signal trouble and lower your score.5 You should also make every payment on time — not missing a single beat because of an address change or a misfiled statement. Of course, you should be doing all of these things as a matter of course in maintaining and improving a good credit score.

Does having a perfect credit score matter?

Nobody is really expecting perfection, so the quest for an 850 credit score isn’t really necessary for looking good to lenders.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t aim high. But if you’re even thinking about 850, you’re probably already pretty high up there, and there’s simply no need to fret. FICO® Scores above 740 indicate a very dependable borrower, and anything above 800 is exceptional.6 The average score among U.S. consumers is 695, according to FICO7 and 669 according to VantageScore.8

Resources:

1. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/05/08/is-it-possible-to-get-a-perfect-credit-score

2. http://www.thestreet.com/story/13229783/1/i-got-a-perfect-credit-score-heres-how-you-can-do-it-too.html

3. http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx

4. http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/2013/08/28/when-negative-information-will-be-removed-from-your-credit-report/

5. http://www.creditkarma.com/article/credit-card-utilization

6. http://www.discover.com/credit-cards/fico-credit-score-free/

7. http://www.fico.com/en/blogs/risk-compliance/us-credit-quality-continues-climb-will-level/

8. http://www.experian.com/live-credit-smart/state-of-credit-2015.html

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

FICO is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Discover Financial Services and Fair Isaac are not credit repair organizations as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Discover Financial Services and Fair Isaac do not provide “credit repair” services or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history or credit rating. 

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