What is the Highest Possible Credit Score?
In the credit industry, we have all heard about achieving the magical credit score number of 800. Haven’t you? The idea of reaching 800 is promoted all over the internet, video advertisements, and on television commercials. However, what many people do not realize is that 800 is not even the highest possible credit score! While this may seem like a shock to you, the real answer as to what the highest possible credit score is even more shocking. In today’s article, we are going to dive into understanding how credit scores are calculated across different sources and how these sources dictate the potential score scores.
The Highest Possible Credit Score
Now, before we can share the answer, we must first discuss a few important vitals regarding credit score. Now, one of the biggest misperceptions surrounding the credit industry is that when you check your credit score, that number is the ONLY number. The truth is, there is no such thing as one individual credit score. Keep in mind, there are three different credit bureaus that lenders use to calculate your credit score.
Have you ever tried to rent an apartment, lease a car, or open a credit card and a company says, “We need to pull your credit score from TransUnion”? When a company does this, they will be receiving a specific credit score to that credit bureau. So, this brings us to the portion that you are most interested in.
The most accepted answer as to the highest possible credit score has been 800; however, it’s because it’s the most widely used number. What many people do not realize is that the real number is significantly higher! Let’s provide a small example, Experian mentions that “Some credit scoring systems may have a scale that goes up to 850, while others might go up to 900 or 950.”
To better help find the true answer, we are going to break down the widely used credit score systems:
- Vantage Score: 501-990
- FICO: 300-850
- Experian’s PLUS: 330-830
- Equifax: 280-350
- TransUnion New Account: 300-850
What Does This Mean?
When you look at these credit scores, you probably are inclined to quickly glance at the higher numbers. While it’s a great aspiration to achieve higher credit score numbers, it’s important to know that it truly depends on the company and which company or agency they use to pull a credit score. On top of this, in recent years, more lenders have come out to reveal that the physical number does not maintain as much weight as it did. Companies are now more interested in the individual and their personal finances. For example, when you are planning on leasing a car, financial companies will look at your past scores and what action you have taken to improve your credit report and score. The lesson to be learned here is that acting towards improving the health of your credit report is more important than the physical number. This is where learning how to strengthen your credit report comes into play.
Building a Strong Credit Report
So, before discuss building a stronger credit report, we would like to mention that, having your eyes set on 850 or 990 for a credit score is unreasonable. It will be nearly impossible to achieve this number. We do not say this to discourage any readers; however, granted how difficult it is for some to reach 800, achieving 850+ is even more challenging, given the algorithm and statistics. With that being said, rather than focus on improving your credit score numbers, take that time to focus on building a stronger credit report, as this is exactly what businesses and lenders are looking for. If you do this, you might be surprised to see that your credit score will naturally increase. Many people use credit cards to help build credit.
To better help readers, we have created a small list of tips, tricks, and self-guiding questions to help build a stronger credit report, in efforts to increase their credit scores.
- Observe credit history and see if there is any way you can improve this.
- Do you have any outstanding debt that can be paid off quickly?
- What type of revolving debt do you currently have?
- Create an established game plan to pay all bills on time.
- Analyze credit reports yearly to see if anything needs to be removed.
- Measure credit utilization and how you can enhance this.
- Before you are quick to opening a new credit card or line of credit, is it the best choice?
The First Step to Take
Given the information we have shared so far, you might be wondering, where do we begin? If we can be honest, the first step to take is the one you are taking right now: reading and knowledge. The best thing that anyone can do towards improving their credit score and report is reading articles, books, and watching YouTube videos. By doing this, you can learn more information about the ever-changing industry, new tactics, and strategies to pay-off debt.
With that being said, before you can start establishing a strong credit report and achieving the credit score number of your dreams, you must begin with getting access to your credit report. You can easily do this through one of the three credit bureaus. The best part about this is, if you have not already, you can receive this for FREE each year. Once you receive this information in the mail, we highly suggest reviewing this information, studying the important areas to look out for, and analyzing every line.
Once you understand EXACTLY where your credit report stands, you can begin creating an effective game plan towards improving the strength of your credit report, and, in turn, score. Keep in mind, one of the easiest ways to improve your credit report is through cleaning up any old marks that need to be removed. A simple dispute form can make a world-of-a-difference. From our end, congratulations on acting towards enhancing your credit report and score – this is one step that thousands fear to take.
Financial Advisor - Best.CreditCard
David is our in-house financial advisor with years of experience in the credit card industry. He became interested in credit cards after working for several years at a major bank. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance.