What is the Maximum Credit Score?

We can all agree that having a good credit score is essential in the United States as it plays a role in everything from buying a home to financing or leasing a car. So, what is the range of credit scores and what is the maximum credit score a person can achieve. We will discuss the answer to this question in much detail below.

What is the Maximum Credit Score?

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, the maximum credit score that you can achieve is an 850 credit score. Approximately 1.2% of the U.S population has a perfect 850 FICO credit score. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for the best interest rate and lending terms. That said, a credit score of 740 or above is considered to be great and will qualify you for the best loan and credit card terms.

Credit scores are based on your credit history. When calculating your credit score, the three major credit reporting bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax) look at things that are in your credit report, such as your open accounts, amount of debt, repayment history, the average age of your accounts, and whether there are derogatory (negative) marks on your credit report.

It’s worth noting that Americans have more than one credit score. Each one of the credit reporting bureaus calculates a different FICO score for you. If you check your credit score with all three credit reporting bureaus, you’ll notice that you’ll have a slightly different credit score from each bureau. This is so because the data each credit reporting bureau has may be different and will therefore calculate a different credit score for you. For example, if you check your credit, your scores may look like this: 745, 720, 780. Such differences in your credit score are normal because creditors and lenders report to different credit reporting bureaus.

What is the Credit Score Range?

Fico credit scores range from a low credit score of 300 to a maximum credit score of 850. A credit score that is above 700 is generally considered to be good and will qualify you for decent credit card and loan interest rates. That said, here is the range of credit scores from the lowest score to the highest:

  • Excellent – 800 to 850 (21%)
  • Very Good – 740 to 799 (25%)
  • Good – 670 to 739 (21%)
  • Fair – 580 to 669 (17%)
  • Poor – Below 580 (16%)

Should You Seek the Maximum Credit Score?

Having a good credit score in the U.S is essential for things, such taking out a loan to buy a home, financing or leasing a car, and opening a credit card. Although you do not need the maximum credit score to do any of these things, having an excellent credit score will allow you to obtain credit cards and loans with the best interest rates and repayment terms.

The lower your credit score, the less likely you are to qualify for a loan or credit card. If you have a fair credit score, you may qualify for a credit card or loan, but it will not have the best terms and you may be forced to pay higher interest rates than you would have had to pay if you had a good or excellent credit score.

For example, a person with a 745 credit score may be able to finance a car a 3.9% interest rate whereas a person looking at the same car with a 680 credit score will only be able to finance the same car at a 13% interest rate. What does the increase in interest rate mean for you?

Let’s say you decide to finance a $20,000 car. The person with a 745 credit score will end up paying $22,046 for the car at the end of the loan. The person with a 680 credit score will end up paying $27,304 for the same car. The person with the lower credit score ended up paying $5,258 more for the same car just because he had a lower credit score. So, it’s definitely worth your time to improve your credit score because it will save you money when it comes to things, such as financing or leasing a car.

Why Should You Know What is the Maximum Credit Score?

You should know what the maximum credit score is because it puts where you stand on the scale of credit scores into perspective. You can aim for an 850 credit score, but achieving anything over an 800 credit score will do wonders for you. With an 800 credit score, you will be able to qualify for the absolute best card and loan interest rates.

Achieving a perfect 850 credit score is a difficult task to accomplish. Usually people who achieve the top credit score have 20+ years of flawless credit history, so it’s not something that’s achievable in two to three years of making payments, it’s something that you have to work hard on for a over a decade. Nevertheless, approximately 1.2% of the U.S population has been able to achieve the elusive maximum credit score of 850.

How to Improve Your Credit Score?

While you don’t need the absolute best credit score to qualify for good deals on credit cards and loan, having a good or excellent credit score will make your life easier and will save you money on major purchases, such as a home or car.

Here is what you can start doing today to improve your credit score:

  • Pay you credit card and loan bills on time – Paying your credit cards and loans on time is the best way to improve your credit score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit, so making timely payments is the best way to improve your credit score.

  • Pay your medical, utility, and all other bills on time – Paying medical, utility, and all other bills is very important and is often overlooked. It’s important to do so to avoid having your past due payment from being sent to a collection agency and a collection account being placed on your credit report. A collection account can decrease your credit score by up to 100 points. So, pay your bills on time to avoid this problem.

  • Keep your old credit cards open – Although it may be tempting to close an old credit card that you haven’t used in a long time, you should avoid closing it especially if you’ve had it for a long time and it has good payment history. This is so because your credit card will increase the average age of your accounts, which will help your credit score.

  • Decrease your account balances low – Decreasing the balances on your credit cards, although sometimes difficult, is one of the best ways to improve your credit score. As a rule of thumb, you should keep your credit utilization below 30%. For example, if you have a $1,000 credit limit, you should not keep a balance of more than $300 on your credit card.

  • Avoid applying for too many new credit cards and loans – You should avoid applying for too many credit cards and loans because each time you apply, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report, and although a single hard inquiry will not lower your score by much, having several hard inquiries within a short period of time can significantly lower your credit score.

  • Periodically check your credit report – You should periodically check your credit report and credit score. If you see anything that is not accurate, you should file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau displaying the incorrect information to have them remove it from your credit report. Also, checking your credit report allows you to track your progress and quickly address any inaccuracies.

Credit Score Planet Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is it possible to get an 850 credit score?

Yes, it is possible to get the maximum credit score of 850. In fact, 1.2% of the US population has a perfect credit score of 850.

2) Is a 900 credit score possible?

No, FICO credit scores max out at 850. You cannot have a credit score higher than this.

3) What percentage of the population has a credit score over 800?

Approximately 21% of the U.S population has a credit score of 800 or above.

4) What is the highest possible credit score?

The highest possible FICO credit score is 850.

5) What is the average credit score?

The average credit score in the United States is 680.

Bottom Line on the Maximum Credit Score

At this point, you know that an 850 FICO credit score is the maximum credit score that you can achieve. That said, you do not need to max out your credit score to qualify for the best lending terms and deal. A credit score in the 800s will qualify you for the best interest rates and terms on credit cards and loans. If you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.