August 20, 2016

What Is the Optimal Credit Score?

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Reader question: What’s the highest credit score? What score should I be aiming for?

Answer: Truthfully, the highest credit score is not the score you should be shooting for. The whole point of a credit score is to get you the best rates and credit limits when you are applying for loans and credits. While it seems like the highest score would get you the best rates, you actually don’t even need to aim that high.

The best credit score you can get on the FICO scale is an 850, but that score is near impossible to attain. You would need to have the perfect storm of credit utilization (probably zero balances with very high credit limits), a long spotless credit history, and no negative marks on your credit report, which is nearly impossible. And even with all of those factors, 850 can still be unattainable. So what score should you be shooting for?

If you are looking for the best rates and the highest credit limits, you should aim for a credit score of 760, according to FICO. Anything above a 760 is just going to be for bragging rights, since a score of 760 or above will get you the best rates and credit limits. Most businesses use similar cutoff points when determining your rate or credit limit. Say you have below a 700, you might be in a different bracket with higher rates than someone with a 705, so always make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your credit score as healthy as you can. Here are some tips on how you might be able to raise your credit score without any crazy tricks or scams.


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