Unlocking the Secrets to Achieving the Ultimate Credit Score: 850

Key Takeaways

Many people (especially high achievers like you) want to know: “What is the highest credit score I can get and how do I get there?” To answer your question real quick, it’s an 850, and while it is possible it isnt necessary. More on that later. 

Knowing the top score can help you aim high and keep your credit in check. We’ll walk through the best score you can get, how scores are figured out, and answer some usual questions about credit scores in a chill way.

The highest credit score

Credit scores are numerical representations of your creditworthiness, and they play a crucial role in determining your eligibility for loans (like for a house or car), credit cards, and other financial products.

The most commonly used credit scoring models in the United States are FICO® and VantageScore®. For both models, the highest credit score possible is 850.

Understanding credit score ranges

FICO score ranges

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very Good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 300-579

VantageScore ranges

  • Excellent: 781-850
  • Good: 661-780
  • Fair: 601-660
  • Poor: 500-600
  • Very Poor: 300-499

How are credit scores calculated?

Credit scores are calculated using information from your credit reports, which include details on your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used. Here’s a brief overview, specifically for your FICO Score,  the most widely used credit scoring system (each credit model weighs categories slightly differently):

  • Payment history (35%): On-time payments positively affect your score, while late payments, bankruptcies, and foreclosures have negative impacts.
  • Amounts owed (30%): This involves your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you’re using compared to your total available credit. For example, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and you owe $2,000, your credit utilization ratio is 20%. You generally want to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%.
  • Length of credit history (15%): Longer credit histories tend to have a positive effect on your score.
  • New credit (10%): Opening several new credit accounts in a short period can negatively affect your score.
  • Credit mix (10%): Having a variety of credit types (e.g., mortgage, car loans, credit cards) can positively impact your score.

Common questions about credit scores

How can I achieve a high credit score?

Achieving a high credit score requires disciplined financial behavior over time, including making payments on time, keeping credit utilization low, and only applying for new credit when necessary.

Is an 850 credit score necessary?

No, an 850 credit score isn’t necessary. A score at or above a 740 usually gets you the best rates and terms. High scores are good, but 850 is more for bragging rights than financial benefits. (Plus, less than 2% of the population has a 850 score, according to CNBC.)

How often do credit scores change?

Credit scores can change whenever new information is reported to the credit bureaus. Regular monitoring of your credit report can help you understand how your actions affect your score.

Can everyone achieve a perfect credit score?

While it is possible, achieving and maintaining an 850 credit score is rare. However, striving for a high credit score by managing your credit responsibly can yield substantial financial benefits.


Understanding the highest credit score possible and how credit scores are calculated can empower you to make informed decisions about your credit.

While a perfect score of 850 is the pinnacle, achieving a score in the highest range is possible but not necessary. Remember, responsible credit management is key to building and maintaining a strong credit score.

Whether you’re just starting your credit journey or aiming to reach the top of the credit score scale, every step taken towards responsible credit use is a step towards financial health and opportunity.

StellarFi (StellarFinance, Inc.) and its affiliates do not provide financial, tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. StellarFi receives a referral fee from the partners mentioned in this article.