What is the highest possible credit score?
You just got your updated credit score through Chase Credit Journey® and you see your VantageScore® 3.0 is at 780 — what a great credit score! However, as impressive as that score is, there's still more room to grow. Maybe you've always challenged yourself to be the very best, and now's your time to shine. Just how high can you get your credit score — and how realistic are your chances to reach the top number?
Your credit score will fall within a particular range, which differs slightly depending on the scoring model used. For both VantageScore and FICO® scores, the highest possible score you can receive is 850. So how do you get this so-called perfect score?
In this article, you will learn:
- If it's possible to achieve the highest score
- How to achieve the highest possible score
- What credit score you should aim for
Is it possible to achieve the highest score?
Yes — according to Experian™, as of 2019, 1.2% of Americans have a FICO score of 850. While it is possible to achieve, it's a difficult process. Because your score is ever-evolving, having this score does not necessarily mean it will remain that way forever.
Even though it's possible to achieve a perfect score, the following scores are still considered high credit scores.
- Excellent: 781–850
- Good: 661–780
- Exceptional: 800+
- Very Good: 740–799
What kinds of people have a perfect score?
According to Experian, as of 2021, most people (59.40%) with a perfect score are ages 57–75 (those of the baby-boom generation). These individuals typically have an average of about 5–6 standard credit cards in addition to retail credit cards, auto loans, personal loans and mortgages.
In addition to a diverse credit mix, these individuals have years under their belt of making payments on time and in full, a low credit utilization ratio and keeping credit accounts open for a long duration. They may actively monitor their credit score regularly and look out for any shifts in their score and adjust their actions accordingly.
Ways to achieve the highest possible credit score
It takes many years of consistent and diligent effort in order to achieve the highest possible credit score. Derogatory remarks can also be an obstacle if you currently have them on your report. These are negative items that can take anywhere from 7–10 years to fall off from you report.
To achieve the highest possible credit score, you may need to do the following (and more):
- Diversify your credit mix — adding different types of credit (credit cards, loans, a mortgage) showcases your ability to manage your money
- Make payments on time and in full — missing just one monthly payment can have lasting effects that keep you from obtaining a perfect score
- Lengthen the age of credit — keeping lines of credit open for longer periods of time can demonstrate to credit bureaus your ability to consistently make your payments
- Enroll in Chase Credit Journey® — you can receive a personalized action plan provided by Experian™ to help improve it, in addition to other free helpful resources
While doing the above can help increase your chances of getting a perfect score, small events can still throw you off the path to a perfect score. For example, let's say you want to take out a new credit card to help diversify your credit mix. Doing so usually requires running a hard inquiry — this action alone can hurt your score by a few points. Even if you have a perfect score today, there are plenty of factors and potential actions that could lower it and fall into other credit score ranges.
Credit score to aim for recommended by experts
Aiming for a high credit score is a great goal to have; however, aiming for a perfect score can be difficult to achieve, hard to maintain and not always necessary. It's hard to maintain a perfect score — but, a good credit score to shoot for that is sustainable is about 700 and higher.
With this score, you'll receive just about the same amount of benefits as you would with a perfect score. These include lower APRs, more opportunities to qualify for specific credit cards and more.
Advantages of having a perfect credit score
In addition to bragging rights, having a perfect credit score can give you access to benefits and perks you wouldn't otherwise have. There are plenty of advantages to having a perfect (or even an exceptional or excellent) credit score. These include, but aren't limited to:
- Having more purchasing power and room to negotiate for better terms/rates
- Eligibility for more premium credit cards that could come with benefits for traveling, collecting points or rewards and more
- Approval for important life decisions like renting an apartment
- A good impression on a potential employer who may run a credit check
There's nothing wrong with aiming for perfection, and that goes for wanting to obtain a perfect credit score. However, you don't need a perfect score to reap many of the rewards and benefits that come with it. With few exceptions, if you have a score of about 700 or higher, you'll likely be able to get the rates and credit cards that will benefit you.
Is your credit score far from perfect? Is it adequate enough to get approved for loans, but you don't know how to raise it even more to get a better rate? Don't worry — there are always opportunities to adjust and improve. With Credit Journey®, you can monitor your score without impact, get a personalized action plan and more. If you're on your way to achieving that perfect score, enrolling in this free online tool can be a helpful asset.