What Is the Highest Achievable FICO Score?

Thankfully, you don’t need a perfect score to qualify for some of the best rates on loans and mortgages. Scores in the 700s can qualify you for great interest rates from lenders. Get your score anywhere above 760 and you will probably be offered the best rates in the market.

 Why like this? This is because banks and credit card companies pay less attention to the specific numbers on your credit reports and are more concerned about the wide range of credit scores where your scores fall.

For example, FICO score bands look like this.

  • Poor: 300-579
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Good: 670-739
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Excellent: 800+

Improving your scores from 740 to 790 will have little effect on your interest rate offers as both scores fall in the “very good” range. But raising your score from 650 to 700 could mean offering a lower interest rate.

If you want to improve your scores and get as close to 850 as possible, you need to understand why your score is going up or down.

Key Factors Affecting Your Scores: FICO vs. VantageScore

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While there are differences between the VantageScore and FICO scoring models, both make it clear that some factors are more effective than others

For both models, the payment history is the most important factor, followed by the total amount of credit owed to you (also referred to as a percentage of the credit limit used and the total balance/loan).

FICO uses percentages to indicate the importance of each factor in your credit score.

Payment history35%
Amounts owed30%
Length of credit history15%
New credit10%
Credit mix10%

VantageScore does not assign a specific percentage of factors but indicates that some factors are more effective than others. This is how your VantageScore breaks down.

Payment historyExtremely influential
Age and type of creditHighly influential
Percent of credit limit usedHighly influential
Total balances/debtModerately influential
Recent credit behavior and inquiriesLess influential
Available creditLess influential

How to make the highest possible credit score?

If you really want to fight for every possible point, we have some strategies that can help:

  • Pay every bill on time, all the time. Payment history is the biggest factor in your score, so any mistake there can really push you back.
  • Keep your credit balance below 10% of your credit limit. Use of Credit – The amount of your credit limit in use is another highly influential factor in your score. The less you can get it, the better.
  • Have multiple credit accounts and credit cards with installment loans.
  • If you have a short credit history, ask to become an authorized customer with an old, established credit card with flawless payment records and low credit usage.
  • Check your credit reports to identify errors that may hinder your score. (Until April 22, 2022, you will have weekly access to free credit reports to all three credit bureaus.)
  • Only apply for new credit if you really need it.

Do earnings play a role in achieving perfect FICO® scores?

Earnings are not a factor in determining your FICO® score. Although access to certain credit products may be limited by your income and financial situation, income is not a barrier when it comes to getting a full credit score.

In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to empirical data, slightly more than 38% of perfect FICO® scores were held by people with an estimated average annual income of $ 75K or less.

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