How Do I Get My Credit Score up to 800? (2024)

You don’t have to be a millionaire to know what achieving that financial ranking means.

Being a millionaire means you have crossed a huge economic threshold. Doors open. Opportunities are offered. Rewards are granted. You aren’t invulnerable, but you do have a comfortable status.

If you aren’t a millionaire – but like the privileges that go with being one – try pushing your credit score up to 800 and you too will qualify for some really nice perks. Bankers are your best friends. Credit card companies are begging for your business. Loans are practically automatic.

Granted, the people in the “800 Club” don’t have the same cache or economic clout as millionaires, but it’s still an elite status in today’s economy. And the “800 Club” is a lot easier to join. More than 40 million American consumers have 800 or better credit scores. Only 12 million are millionaires.

And all you gotta do to join the 800 Club is pay every bill, every month on time and be ultra, ultra conservative about using a credit card for spending.

OK, that’s not ALL you have to do, but it is most of it.

“Paying your bills on time, every time, is the most critical factor involved in building and maintaining your credit score,” said Rod Griffiin, Director of Consumer Education for Experian, one of the “Big Three” credit reporting bureaus in the U.S. “Missing payments is a key barrier for people trying to improve credit scores. One missed payment can quickly drop your credit score significantly.”

On-time payment (35%) and credit utilization (30%) make up the bulk of your credit score. The rest comes from the length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and mix of credit (10%).

So how do you get all those percentages to add up to an 800 credit score? We just listed the five factors so let’s go over each one and see how that gets you to 800.

1. Pay on Time

You don’t have to be a perfectionist to become a member of the 800 Club, but it does help.

Lending Tree, one of the prominent online lenders, did a study on consumers with 800-plus credit scores in 2019 and found mostly predictable characteristics, perfection being the first one.

Member of the 800 Club pay on time 100% of the time. Not some of the time or most of the time, but 100% OF THE TIME! Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Baby Boomers or GenXers or Millennials, if they’re in the 800 Club, they never miss a payment.

The rest of us do. In fact, studies indicate that the average consumer has six late payments on his/her credit report. Those are costly. Just one 30-day late payment can bust your score down by as much as 100 points.

2. Limit Credit Use

If you have a credit card, surely you have heard that it’s best not to spend more than 30% of the credit limit on your card, or $300 on a $1,000 credit limit.

Unfortunately, that’s not good enough to get in the 800 Club.

Not surprisingly, members of the 800 Club have $71,000 in credit available every month. Shockingly, they spend only $3,685 with all that credit available. That is barely 5%!

For those of us with a card that has a $5,000 credit limit, 5% would mean spending under $250. That barely covers the cost of a weekly visit to the grocery store, let alone paying the bill for trips to a clothing store, restaurant, gas station or movie theater.

So, OK, 5% is probably unrealistic. So too is 10% and maybe even 15%.

But if you could drop your credit utilization down to 20% of your limit, that would be a giant step in the right direction.

“We also recommend keeping your balances low,” Griffin said. “Pay attention to the risk factors that come with your credit scores. Risk factors describe what you need to focus on to improve your credit scores.”

3. Mix and Match Methods of Borrowing

The algorithms that calculate credit scores love diversity, meaning they smile when they see you paying on a mortgage, car loan, student loan and credit card. What that says to them is that you can multi-task when bill paying time rolls around each month.

Members of the 800 Club, naturally, take it a step further. They average nine open accounts, which does wonders for not just the methods of borrowing, but also helps the credit utilization category immensely.

In most cases, the extra accounts are credit cards and here is how that helps.

As demonstrated above, if you rely on just one credit card to pay for all your expenses, your credit utilization likely is going to 50%-75% or higher. The credit score algorithms don’t care that you pay that off every month. They want the credit utilization under 30%.

So add three more cards to your wallet, each with $5,000 limits on them and suddenly your credit utilization is up to $20,000. If you spend the same amount with cards that month, your utilization drops dramatically, probably under 20%.

Not all of us are comfortable carrying that much credit in our pocket so be careful with this one.

4. Credit History Matters

The longer you’ve been using credit, the more it means to your credit score. Members of the 800 Club average just under 22 years of using credit. Even the youngest ones, Millennials, average more than 14 years.

That probably means that credit-savvy parents put their kids name on credit cards as an authorized user at a very early age. If you want to jump start your child’s credit score, go for it.

If you want to inch yours closer to 800, don’t close one credit card when you get another. Keep cards open and use them once a month, just to show their active.

5. Don’t Apply for Credit … Too Often

This category is meant to restrain credit score enthusiasts from trying to increase their card supply and lower their utilization rate by applying for a bunch of credit cards at the same time.

That strategy will backfire.

Member of the 800 Club only average about one hard credit pull on their account a year. They do things gradually or as their income allows and financial acumen matures.

In other words, there is no rush here. The race to 800 usually is won by those who take their time and make prudent financial decisions.

“If you are just starting out, reaching an 800 score is not going to happen overnight,” Griffin said. “You’re going to need patience as you work toward your goal. It takes time.”

So, Is an 800 Score Worth It?

The answer is yes! But a credit score of 750 is probably just as good.

“Aiming for 800 and above might be enticing, but it’s not always necessary,” Griffin said. “Scores of 800 or above may earn you bragging rights, but they won’t net you better terms. Your goal should be to have a score high enough to get you the best rates and scores greater than 750 will qualify you for the best rates.”

So, the numbers game for credit scores is like every other statistical measurement in your life: How high is high enough?

If you’re happy at 750 and getting the best rates you can … go for it!

But if you want to feel like a millionaire – without have the bank account to prove it – take your best swing at 800 and let the privileges fall where they will!

How Do I Get My Credit Score up to 800? (2024)


How long does it take to build credit score to 800? ›

The longer you've been using credit, the more it means to your credit score. Members of the 800 Club average just under 22 years of using credit.

How can I raise my credit score fast 800? ›

To reach an 800 credit score, you'll want to demonstrate on-time bill payments, have a healthy mix of credit (meaning accounts other than just credit cards), use a small percentage of your available credit, and limit new credit inquiries.

What is the best way to get an 800 credit score? ›

Making on-time payments to creditors, keeping your credit utilization low, having a long credit history, maintaining a good mix of credit types, and occasionally applying for new credit lines are the factors that can get you into the 800 credit score club.

How many credit cards do you need for an 800 credit score? ›

Consumers with 800-plus credit scores have an average of 8.3 open accounts — similar to 7.9 in 2021. Gen Xers now have 8.6 open accounts, on average — the highest among any of the generations. While not as important as payment history or amounts owed, credit mix accounts for 10% of consumers' credit scores.

Is it true that after 7 years your credit is clear? ›

Highlights: Most negative information generally stays on credit reports for 7 years. Bankruptcy stays on your Equifax credit report for 7 to 10 years, depending on the bankruptcy type. Closed accounts paid as agreed stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years.

What is a good credit score for a 25 year old? ›

Consider yourself in “good” shape if your credit score is above the average for people in your age group. Given that the average credit score for people aged 18 to 25 is 679, a score between 679 and 687 (the average for people aged 26 to 41) could be considered “good”.

Is a 900 credit score possible? ›

Highlights: While older models of credit scores used to go as high as 900, you can no longer achieve a 900 credit score. The highest score you can receive today is 850. Anything above 800 is considered an excellent credit score.

What is a good credit score to buy a house? ›

You'll typically need a credit score of 620 to finance a home purchase. However, some lenders may offer mortgage loans to borrowers with scores as low as 500. Whether you qualify for a specific loan type also depends on personal factors like your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), loan-to-value ratio (LTV) and income.

How to increase credit score by 100 points in 30 days? ›

Steps you can take to raise your credit score quickly include:
  1. Lower your credit utilization rate.
  2. Ask for late payment forgiveness.
  3. Dispute inaccurate information on your credit reports.
  4. Add utility and phone payments to your credit report.
  5. Check and understand your credit score.
  6. The bottom line about building credit fast.

How rare is 825 credit score? ›

Your score falls in the range of scores, from 800 to 850, that is considered Exceptional. Your FICO® Score and is well above the average credit score. Consumers with scores in this range may expect easy approvals when applying for new credit. 21% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Exceptional range.

Does a 750 vs 800 credit score matter? ›

A 750 credit score is Very Good, but it can be even better. If you can elevate your score into the Exceptional range (800-850), you could become eligible for the very best lending terms, including the lowest interest rates and fees, and the most enticing credit-card rewards programs.

How rare is an 800 credit score? ›

According to a report by FICO, only 23% of the scorable population has a credit score of 800 or above.

Is 7 credit cards too many? ›

How many credit cards is too many or too few? Credit scoring formulas don't punish you for having too many credit accounts, but you can have too few. Credit bureaus suggest that five or more accounts — which can be a mix of cards and loans — is a reasonable number to build toward over time.

Is Capital One a good credit card? ›

But Capital One's cards are more than hype — they include generous rewards cards as well as excellent products for business owners, students and those with average or poor credit. What won't you find on any Capital One card? Foreign transaction fees.

Is 4 credit cards too much? ›

It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.

How long would it take to get from 500 to 700 credit score? ›

The time it takes to raise your credit score from 500 to 700 can vary widely depending on your individual financial situation. On average, it may take anywhere from 12 to 24 months of responsible credit management, including timely payments and reducing debt, to see a significant improvement in your credit score.

How to go from 760 credit score to 800? ›

5 Habits To Get 800+ Credit Score
  1. Pay Your Bills on Time – All of Them. Paying your bills on time can improve your credit score and get you closer to an 800+ credit score. ...
  2. Don't Hit Your Credit Limit. ...
  3. Only Spend What You Can Afford. ...
  4. Don't Apply for Every Credit Card. ...
  5. Have a Credit History. ...
  6. What an 800+ Credit Score Can Mean.

Can you buy a house with a 700 credit score? ›

Yes. Assuming the rest of your finances are solid, a credit score of 700 should qualify you for all major loan programs: conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans all have lower minimum requirements, and even jumbo loans require a 700 score at minimum.

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