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What Is an Excellent Credit Score?

A credit score of 800 or above typically falls into the “excellent” category. There are many benefits associated with this tier of credit score. For example, an excellent credit score means you’re more likely to gain approval for new lines of credit, such as a credit card. It also usually means you’ll have access to lower interest rates on certain loans. There are a number of requirements you must meet to attain an excellent score, though.

Need help managing your finances? Speak with a local financial advisor.

What Is an Excellent Credit Score?

When it comes to your credit score, the higher, the better. But in order to earn an excellent credit score of 800 or above, you’ll need to have a fantastic credit profile.

For starters, your credit history can’t be riddled with late or missed payments, bankruptcies or defaults. However, being responsible with credit might not even be enough to earn you an excellent score. Since your credit score is partially calculated by the average age of your accounts and the types of credit you own, you could be missing out on an excellent score if you don’t have lengthy history across multiple lines of credit.

All that said, an excellent score is more of a bragging point than anything else. Once you eclipse a score of 700, the marginal benefit of having a higher score significantly decreases. In practical terms, you aren’t likely to be approved or denied credit solely on the basis of having an excellent credit score as opposed to a very good or good score.

How Credit Scores Work

Your personal credit score is determined by a handful of factors that each have their own significance. Here’s a breakdown of what FICO accounts for when calculating your score:

  • Payment history: 35% of your score
  • Credit usage: 30% of your score
  • Credit history: 15% of your score
  • Mix of credit: 10% of your score
  • New credit applications: 10% of your score

Generally speaking, credit scores range on a scale of 300 to 850. That means an excellent credit score falls into the highest part of that spectrum. According to Equifax, one of the three main credit bureaus in the U.S., FICO scores go as follows:

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

Bottom Line

What Is an Excellent Credit Score?

An excellent credit score is a point of pride for many businesses and people. It shows that you are extremely responsible with credit, and that you use a variety of different types of credit. Remember, though, that having an excellent credit score is nice, but it’s also important to make sure that you’re in good financial health when applying for new loans or other lines of credit.

Tips for Maintaining Your Credit Health

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/AaronAmat, ©iStock.com/PeopleImages

Sam Lipscomb, CEPF® Sam Lipscomb is a writer for SmartAsset. His work spans a wide variety of personal finance topics with expertise including retirement, investing and savings. He is particularly well versed in credit cards. Sam has been featured in The Economist and on The Points Guy. He is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). Sam graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Economics and enjoys being a go-to resource for family and friends when it comes to personal finance. Originally from Washington, DC, Sam loves all things aviation and is a Cleveland sports fan. He currently lives in New York.
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