When it comes to credit scores, 800 is the magic number. Rated as “exceptional” under the FICO scoring model, this near-perfect score demonstrates your ability to manage your debts. Contrary to popular belief, being financially responsible doesn’t mean being debt-free. In fact, members of the “800 Club” often have debts of over $150,000, surpassing the national average.
Your credit score serves as a gauge of how well you manage that financial obligation, considering factors such as payments, credit history, and credit mix. Achieving this score puts you in the position to secure favorable loan rates, increase your credit limit, and get lower insurance premiums, among many other benefits.
Discover how to get an 800 credit score, regardless of your current standing, in this article.
How to Get an 800 Credit Score: 6 Actionable Steps
Getting an exceptional credit score is a gradual process, dependent on your ability to build good financial habits. Here’s how to increase your credit score to 800 and make sure it stays that way:
1. Maintain a Low Credit Utilization Rate
To build your credit score, it’s advisable to maintain a low credit utilization rate, which is the amount of credit a person is currently using compared to their total available credit limit. For example, if your credit card has a $2,000 limit and you’ve already used $500, your credit utilization rate is at 25%.
According to FICO, those with an 800 credit score use only 7% of their credit. While it may seem challenging to cover your expenses within this limit, the good news is that a 7% rate doesn’t translate to restricted card use.
Here’s how to get an 800 credit score if you want to continue swiping your card: clear your balance once you hit the threshold. If you’ve already spent 7% of your $2,000 limit (or $140), pay that off before making any more card transactions.
2. Always Pay Bills on Time
Wondering how to get an 800 credit score steadily but surely? One of the most effective ways to inch closer to an 800 credit score is by paying your bills before their due dates. This practice shows that you’re a reliable borrower, capable of fulfilling your financial obligations each month.
While it’s advisable to pay in full to maintain a low utilization rate, this may not always be achievable. At the very least, aim to settle the minimum amount, which is usually a fixed percentage of your balance.
3. Establish a Long Credit History
When exploring how to get an 800 credit score, it’s important to understand that it will take time, especially if you’ve just started your financial journey. Even if you’ve been meeting your financial commitments, it will take years to establish that you’re a responsible borrower. Individuals with near-perfect scores have maintained their credit lines over an extended period, averaging around 22 years.
If your credit accounts are relatively new, allow them to mature first. Uphold a good standing across all your accounts, while resisting the temptation to close inactive ones. For example, rather than closing a credit card, consider keeping it active so it remains on file and reflected in your credit history.
4. Diversify Your Credit Accounts
Your FICO score considers all forms of credit under your name, including your personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages. This underscores the importance of diversifying your credit accounts (also known as your credit mix) as you work towards getting an 800 credit score.
By cultivating a great credit portfolio, you can demonstrate how well you can manage multiple debts at a time. Furthermore, extra accounts contribute to your total available credit, subsequently lowering your utilization rate.
However, this isn’t to suggest that you should open new credit accounts for the sake of increasing your FICO score. Debt shouldn’t be taken lightly, so only acquire new credit when necessary.
5. Avoid Mass-Applying for Credit Cards
While a diverse credit mix can work to your advantage, you shouldn’t shortcut the process by applying for multiple credit cards at the same time. Doing this can move you further away from your desired credit score.
Each time you apply for a credit card, your issuer performs a credit inquiry, resulting in a minor deduction to your credit score. If multiple issuers carry it out at the same time, your credit score may experience a sudden drop. Lenders will likely interpret it as a red flag, as it suggests you may be facing money problems.
Instead, here’s how to get an 800 credit score without mass-applying: space out your credit card applications. Wait several months between each, implementing other credit-boosting strategies to guarantee a steady ascent toward your goal.
6. Check Your Credit Reports (and Challenge Them If Necessary)
Your credit report contains all your credit-related information, including your accounts, payments, and limits. Prepared by the main credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—credit reports serve as the foundation for determining your credit score. Additionally, lenders, landlords, and insurance providers typically refer to this report for critical assessments.
You’d think credit reports would be accurate, but five percent of consumers have found errors in their files. This underscores the importance of regularly going over your credit report, as even the slightest error could drag your score down.
Meticulously check them for discrepancies like incorrect dates, duplicate entries, and unfamiliar credit accounts (which may indicate identity theft). If you find any errors, report them to the respective credit bureau immediately.
Build Credit With Payment1’s Personal Loans
The 800 Club may seem difficult to get into, but it’s not impossible. By following our tips on how to get an 800 credit score, you can slowly work your way up, allowing you to reap the many rewards that come with your status.
As you improve your score, consider incorporating personal loans into your credit portfolio. At Payment1, we are committed to becoming your credit-building partner, offering loans that not only ease financial burdens but also contribute to improving your credit. With flexible terms and fixed rates, our personal loans make your pursuit of an 800 credit score (or higher!) more rewarding and achievable.
Contact us today to discuss your options.