Buying a home or renting a home requires good credit. This figure varies depending on your personal situation.
Tips to Build and Maintain an 800 Credit Score
The elusive 800 credit score isn't reserved for people who make a lot of money or have some type of special privilege with the credit bureaus. Anyone who manages their credit properly can reach and maintain an 800 credit score. Here are a few tips:
Pay everything on time. Your payment history makes up a large part of your credit score. The more on-time payments you have on your credit report, the better it is for your credit score.
Keep your credit card balances very low. Generally speaking, keeping your balances below 30 percent of the credit limit is best for your credit score. If you want to reach and maintain an 800 credit score, aim to keep your credit card balances even lower than that amount. People with the best credit scores use less than 10 percent of their credit limits. On a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, for example, a balance of $500 or less is ideal for maintaining an excellent credit score.
Avoid too many credit inquries. Each time you make an application that requires a credit check, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report. These hard inquiries are 10 percent of your credit score. It's not a large amount, but it can be the difference between an 800 and a 780 depending on the other information on your credit report. When you're ready to apply for a loan or credit card, do your homework ahead of time so you can apply just once and avoid multiple credit inquiries.
Monitor your credit and act quickly to clear up errors. Your credit score at any given point in time is based on the information in your credit report at that time. That means you can lose your excellent credit score if there are significant changes to your credit report, particularly errors. Keep an eye on your credit information by using free and paid resources—CreditKarma.com, CreditSesame.com, WalletHub.com, AnnualCreditReport.com, and myFICO.com. If you spot errors, use the credit report dispute process to clear them up right away.
Let negative information age off your credit report. You may have a hard time achieving an 800 credit score with late payments or other negative items on your credit report. Fortunately, most types of negative information will fall off your credit report after seven years. If you can't remove negative items because they're accurate, be patient and keep paying everything else on time.
How Long Does it Take to Get an 800 Credit Score?
It can take several years to build an 800 credit score. You need to have a few years of only positive payment history and a good mix of credit accounts showing you have experience managing different types of credit cards and loans.
A good mix of credit includes a few major credit cards, a real estate loan, and another type of installment loan. These accounts will be a few years old to show that you can handle a variety of credit responsibilities over a long period of time.
Is a Perfect 850 Credit Score Worth It?
The good news is that many lenders consider 760 the cutoff for excellent credit. With a credit score above that number, you'll receive most of the same benefits as someone with an 800 credit score. You'll just have to work a little harder and wait a little longer if you also want the bragging rights.
A good credit score gives you leverage to negotiate a lower interest rate on a credit card or a new loan. If you need more bargaining power, you can take advantage of other attractive offers that you’ve received from other companies based on your credit score. However, if you have a low credit score, creditors are unlikely to budge on loan terms, and you won't have other credit offers or options.
Nearly every American – young or old – will deal with debt at some point. Debt often begins to accumulate during college with credit-card debt, then accumulates with car loans and student loans. Mortgages, family expenses and medical bills may add more debt. Many times debt follows people into retirement. It's important to take a close look at how your debt is affecting your life. If you have too much debt, it may be time to make a plan to get rid of it.