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800 Credit Score: How It Can Help You

Written by Banks Editorial Team

Updated December 18, 2023​

4 min. read​

If you have a credit score of 800 or higher, you’re in the ranks of consumers with the most attractive credit profiles. This score is considered exceptional by FICO and excellent by VantageScore, which means you shouldn’t have trouble when you apply for credit as it is a high credit score. An 800 credit score also makes it easier to meet financial goals, save on interest and keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Keep reading to discover how credit scores are calculated, what an 800 excellent credit score can do for you and how to boost your credit health to get there.

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Credit Score Basics

It’s essential to know how credit scores work before working towards the 800 mark.

What Is a Credit Score

A credit score is a three-digit number lenders and creditors use to determine your creditworthiness or the likelihood of you repaying what you borrow. It’s based on the information found in your credit report, and there are several credit scoring models. However, the top two are FICO and VantageScore.

Your FICO score is calculated using this formula:

  • Payment history – 35% of your FICO score
  • Amounts owed – 30% of your FICO score
  • Length of credit history – 15% of your FICO score
  • Credit mix – 10% of your FICO score
  • New credit – 10% of your FICO score

The calculation for VantageScores is slightly different:

  • Overall credit usage, available credit and outstanding balances – Extremely influential
  • Credit experience and mix – Highly influential
  • Payment history – Moderately influential
  • Age of credit history – Less influential
  • New accounts – Less influential

Credit Score Models

FICO is used by 90% of lenders and creditors to gauge an applicant’s creditworthiness and the level of risk they pose. This scoring model also has several other variations for auto lenders, mortgage providers and credit card issuers.

VantageScores accomplish the same objective but aren’t nearly as popular as FICO scores. They are commonly found on websites consumers use to check their credit scores, and give an accurate assessment of overall credit health.

Credit Score Ranges

Both FICO credit scores and VantageScores range between 300 and 850 – the higher credit score, the better. Below are the credit score ranges for FICO:

  • Poor credit – 300 to 579
  • Fair credit – 580 to 669
  • Good credit – 670 to 7399
  • Very good credit – 740 to 799
  • Exceptional credit – 800 to 850

The credit score ranges for VantageScore are as follows:

  • Very Poor credit – 300 to 499
  • Poor credit – 500 to 600
  • Fair credit – 601 to 660
  • Good credit – 661 to 780
  • Excellent credit – 781 to 850

800 Credit Score: Is it Good or Bad?

An 800 credit score conveys that you have stellar credit and are creditworthy under the FICO and Vantage scoring models. Generally, you will get approved when you apply for credit and receive favorable financing terms (assuming you have adequate income to afford the payments).

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The Benefits of an 800+ Credit Score

An 800+ credit score is your ticket to easy credit approvals. It also makes you more appealing to lenders, banks and other financial institutions. In addition, it gives you the best shot at qualifying for credit products with competitive terms.

Another benefit of an 800+ credit score is the doors it could open for rental opportunities if you’d prefer to rent before buying – landlords prefer applicants with strong credit health in competitive rental markets. You can also save a bundle on car insurance premiums if your provider uses credit-based insurance scores to assess risk.

Who Has an 800+ Credit Score in the U.S.?

Approximately 1.2% of Americans have a perfect 850 credit score. However, a little over 20% fall in the “exceptional” range and can qualify for lower interest rates. Those who’ve managed to be in the top tier carry a combination of credit cards and loan products that they manage responsibly.

They generally have more credit cards in their arsenal than the average consumer but keep the balances low. An 800+ credit score is also more common in older generations as they tend to have a more seasoned credit history. Although income isn’t a factor in the credit-scoring models, studies show that the highest concentration of perfect FICO scores is from individuals who earn between $76,000 and $250,000.

How You Can Get an 800-Plus Credit Score

It depends on what’s in your credit profile. Start by performing a free credit score check with Experian and signing up for credit monitoring. You will receive real-time alerts any time changes are made to your credit profile, along with recommendations to help strengthen your credit score. Experian Boost is also a free tool worth considering to improve your score since it adds on-time payments from subscriptions, cell phone, and utility providers to your Experian credit report.

In the meantime, continue with good habits like paying your bills on time and work to reduce your outstanding credit card balance, reducing your credit card debt. You also want to maintain a healthy credit mix of revolving (i.e. credit cards) and installment (i.e. installment loans like personal loans, car loans or student loans) debt and only apply for credit as needed. Also, try not to close credit cards. Doing so could increase your credit utilization ratio, reduce your credit age, or both, which hurts your score.

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FAQs About an 800+ Credit Score

How hard is it to get an 800 credit score?

You don’t have to pull your hair out to get an 800 credit score. Take a look at your credit report to ensure it’s free of errors. If you spot any issues, file disputes promptly as they could be dragging your score down.
Also, pay attention to how your credit score is calculated. If you pay your bills on time each month, keep your credit card balances low, maintain a mix of installment and revolving debt and only apply for new credit as needed, you could find yourself with an 800 credit score sooner than later. Most importantly, avoid late payments to prevent negative marks, collection accounts and charge offs from appearing on your report as these items can tank your score.

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

Approximately 21% of Americans have a FICO score of 800 or higher.

Can you buy a house with a 800 credit score?

Assuming you meet the lender’s other requirements, you can qualify for a mortgage loan with exceptional terms with an 800 credit score.

Why does having an 800 or over credit score matter?

Although an 800 credit score isn’t required for borrowers to get a credit card or loan, it makes meeting financial goals much easier. You won’t have to spend a fortune in interest and can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
You can also have peace of mind knowing your credit score won’t hinder you from getting an apartment, cell phone or turning on utilities in your name without a hefty security deposit. Plus, your insurance premiums could be substantially lower if your credit-based insurance scores are up to par.

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