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Published: Jul 03, 2024 9 min read

Having an 800 or higher credit score can bring huge benefits. You're more likely to get approved for the best credit cards and loans with favorable terms. You'll also have other perks, like an easier time finding a place to rent and insurance policies with lower monthly premiums.

Below, we'll discuss the benefits of having a credit score of 800 or more and how to improve your credit score.

Table of Contents

How to increase your credit score to 800 and more
Benefits of an 800 credit score
How to Get an 800 Credit Score FAQs
Summary of Money’s How to Get an 800 Credit Score

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How to increase your credit score to 800 or more

While there is no quick and easy way to get an 800+ score, these steps can help you get there over time:

Pay on time

Your payment history makes up around 35% of your score, making it the most important credit scoring factor. With this in mind, consider signing up for alerts or autopay to make sure you pay your bills on time every month.

Paying your credit card statements in full is recommended to avoid accruing interest charges, but making at least the minimum payment can keep your score from dropping.

However, keep in mind that making minimum payments over an extended period of time will lead to high interest charges. It can also increase your credit utilization, which can lower your credit score (more on this in the section below).

If you ever miss your payment due date, pay it as soon as possible. Creditors generally report late payments after they’re at least 30 days, so your credit score won't be affected.

Limit the use of credit

Lenders prefer borrowers with low credit card balances, as this typically means they’ll have an easier time making timely payments. As a result, how much you owe is the second most important factor, accounting for 30% of your score.

To improve your credit score, you should maintain a credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you're using divided by your total credit limit) of 30% or less. For example, if you have a $1,000 balance on a credit card with a $5,000 limit, you have a credit utilization ratio of 0.2 (or 20%).

According to experts, consumers with credit scores of 800 or higher typically use only 10% or less of their available credit.

Build credit history

Starting to build your credit history as early as possible is important since the length of your credit history makes up about 15% of your credit score. This factor takes into account the date you opened your oldest and newest account. It also considers the average age of all your accounts and how long specific credit accounts have been open.

Building a long credit history can help boost your credit score because it provides lenders with an extensive record of your financial behavior. While there's no way to speed up this process, it’s important to keep it in mind when deciding whether you should close an old line of credit you’re not using anymore.

Improve your credit mix

There are different types of credit accounts: revolving and installment accounts.

Credit cards and home equity lines of credit are examples of revolving credit as they both provide credit that remains available indefinitely. As you pay your balance, the amount you paid off becomes available again. Installment loans, as the name implies, involve funds you receive upfront and pay in installments, for instance, personal or student loans. After you pay it off, those funds are no longer available.

Having different types of credit accounts shows lenders how you manage different types of debt. So, if you only have personal loans, taking out a new credit card, for example, can raise your score.

However, your credit mix makes up only 10% of your score, so it's far more important to focus on paying your current accounts on time and keeping your credit utilization low. With that in mind, avoid taking out new lines of credit if you can't comfortably manage additional monthly payments.

Check your credit report regularly

You should routinely check your credit report to make sure it's accurate. Common credit report errors include on-time payments labeled as late, collections that don't belong to you, incorrect credit limits and more.

You can request a free credit report from each of the main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) once per week through AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find a mistake, file a dispute with the bureau that generated the inaccurate report. (For more information, check out How to Dispute Your Credit Report.)

Note that fixing your report can take several months, especially if it has multiple errors. If you need help, consider talking to a certified credit counselor or signing up with one of the best credit repair companies.

Benefits of an 800 Credit Score

According to FICO (the most widely used scoring model), a good credit score falls in the 670-739 range and a very good score is between 740-799. If you’re within these ranges, you'll get access to some of the best financial products and competitive loan terms.

However, 800 or above is considered an exceptional credit score and can guarantee even better perks.

Your chances of approval go up

A score between 740 and 799 significantly improves your approval odds for all financial products, including the best travel credit cards and auto loans. But an 800 credit score makes it even more likely you'll qualify.

However, keep in mind that — besides your score — lenders consider your income, employment status and other factors when evaluating your application. Even if you currently have an excellent score, a lender might deny your application if you have insufficient income, suddenly maxed out credit cards or had too many recent hard inquiries, for example.

You qualify for lower interest rates

The higher your credit score, the better your chances of qualifying for lower interest rates. This could save you thousands of dollars in interest charges — especially when it comes to large loans like mortgages.

For example, if you take out a $400,000 30-year mortgage with a 7.1% fixed annual percentage rate (APR), you would pay approximately $567,726 over the life of the loan. But drop that APR just a fraction of a percentage point to 7% and you would pay approximately $558,035 in interest charges — over $9,500 less.

You qualify for higher credit limits

When you have an 800 credit score, credit card issuers will most likely grant you higher credit limits (the maximum amount of funds a credit is willing to lend you).

A higher credit limit improves your purchasing power, which can be helpful when handling large purchases or unexpected expenses.

Additionally, it can help lower your credit utilization rate, raising your credit score even further. However, note that a high credit limit can improve your credit utilization only if your credit card balances stay consistent or decrease. If you start spending more, your utilization ratio might not change or increase.

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How to Get an 800 Credit Score FAQs

What is a FICO Score?

FICO credit scores are three-digit numbers calculated based on information in people's credit reports. These typically range from 300 to 850, where a higher score suggests that you are more likely to repay your debts on time. FICO has several different scoring models, and these are, by far, the most widely used scoring models by lenders.

How much can I borrow with an 800 credit score?

How much money a creditor might lend you depends on more than just your credit score. While an 800 score can certainly lead to large loan amounts, financial institutions also consider your income, employment history, current total debt and other factors.

How long does it take to get an 800 credit score?

Reaching an 800 credit score can take several years — sometimes over a decade. That's because various factors influence your score, including the length of your credit history and mix of credit. For instance, you’ll probably have an excellent credit score if you have a six-year history of on-time payments. However, that might not be enough to reach the 800 threshold if you only have credit card accounts and no other debts, like a car loan or mortgage.

What can I do with an 800 credit score?

With an 800 credit score, you'll likely qualify for most of the best loans and credit cards around. You'll also get access to more favorable loan terms, including lower interest rates and higher credit limits. Additionally, you might get lower insurance policy premiums and have an easier time renting housing since many insurers and landlords use credit scores in their evaluation process.

What is a perfect credit score?

A perfect credit score usually refers to 850, the highest credit score you can achieve on scoring models like FICO and VantageScore. However, you don't need a perfect score to get the best loan terms and credit opportunities. A score of 740 and higher is enough to place you above the average FICO score of U.S. consumers and show lenders you're a dependable borrower.

Summary of Money’s How to Get an 800 Credit Score

An 800 credit score improves your approval odds for most credit cards, loans, mortgages and other financial products. You’ll also have lower interest rates and fees compared to individuals with bad credit.

However, reaching this score can easily take a decade or more, and you must have excellent credit habits. That means paying your monthly bills on time without fail and keeping your credit card debt low. Reviewing your credit report periodically for errors and having a varied mix of revolving credit accounts and installment loans is also essential.

Also, keep in mind that a high credit score between 740 and 799 already makes you eligible for favorable financial offers.

Check out How to Repair Bad Credit and What Can Hurt Your Credit Score if you need additional help improving your credit.