How to Increase Credit Score to 800

FT Contributor
A man checking his credit score on a laptop that reads 800.

Your credit score is a three-digit number indicating how worthy you are of credit. You’re probably already well aware that the higher the number, the better the offers. If you have a higher credit score, you’ll qualify for better options when seeking a mortgage, personal loan, or credit card. While your credit score isn’t the only factor lenders and financial institutions take into consideration when preparing these offers, it’s a big part of what makes creditors feel you’re worthy of beneficial terms.

800 Credit Score Benefits

An 800 credit score is one to strive for because it’s considered a “superior” score. When you increase your credit score to 800, you open yourself up to a world of benefits and rewards, including:

  • Low interest rates: Your credit score is an important factor that loan officers consider when deciding on loan terms, including the interest rate offered. If you can get an 800 credit score, you’ll likely be offered lower interest rates than if you had a lower score.
  • No-interest credit card balances: An 800 credit score qualifies you for offers from credit card companies that may include 0% interest on your balance. With this high credit score, you can carry a balance on your card and pay it off over time without paying interest. This helps build your credit history without costing you extra money.
  • Application approvals: When you have a superior credit score, lenders consider you less of a risk. Since these lenders assume you’re more likely to make your loan payments in full and on time, your loan applications will usually be approved without incident.

How to Improve an 800 Credit Score

If you’re wondering how to get an 800 credit score, there are several techniques you can use to increase your current score, such as:

  • Paying your bills on time: Not only is it important to pay your credit card and loan bills each month, but it’s just as important to ensure you’re paying them on time. Whether it’s your mortgage payment or your student loan payment, a late or skipped payment is reported to the credit bureau and has negative effects on your score.
  • Disputing credit report errors: Monitor your credit report to ensure the activity reported is correct. A negative error on your report can drag down your score, so it’s important to dispute any errors you notice as soon as possible.
  • Lowering your credit utilization rate: Your credit utilization rate is the amount of credit you’re using divided by the amount of credit you have available. To increase your credit score, don’t max out your lines of credit and make sure you always have credit available that you’re not using.
  • Diversifying your accounts: Don’t go overboard with one type of credit, such as credit cards. Different types of credit lines can get you to an 800 credit score faster. To diversify your credit, have multiple lines, such as credit card accounts, an auto loan, and a mortgage.

You can lower your credit utilization rate and diversify your accounts by keeping your old accounts open, even if you’re not using them much. Having these older accounts on your record allows you to establish a longer credit history. Lenders associate a short credit history with high risk, so your longer history is more attractive to these lenders and you’re more likely to be offered better loan terms.

How to Maintain an 800 Credit Score

Once you get to an 800 credit score, you’ll have to continue working to maintain this superior score. There are specific strategies you can follow and behaviors to avoid so you can maintain your high score, including:

  • Making all payments on time: Continue to make all loan and credit card payments on time. Even just a few late or skipped payments can severely lower your credit score and it can take a while to build it back up. The longer your history of continually making payments on time, the higher your score and the easier it is to keep your score at 800 or higher.
  • Avoiding frequent hard credit inquiries: When you check your own credit, a financial institution or credit card company obtains permission to check your credit, or a potential employer looks at your credit, a soft inquiry is made. This soft inquiry doesn’t affect your score, but multiple hard inquiries within a year can have negative effects on your report. Hard inquiries are made when you apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card. It’s important to limit the number of hard inquiries so you can maintain the 800 credit score you worked so hard for.
  • Continually monitoring your report: Monitoring your credit score can help you catch any errors. If you see a drastic drop in your score and can’t identify the reason, you’ll need to further investigate and immediately report any errors you find. You can also see the progress you’re making with your score to better understand how your efforts and strategies are affecting it.

If you follow these strategies to get an 800 credit score, don’t expect your score to reach superior status right away. Building your credit and increasing your score takes time, especially if you don’t have an extensive credit history or your credit is damaged. However, if you stick with these techniques for building and maintaining a good score, you’ll eventually see an improvement. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the great benefits that come with having an 800 credit score.

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