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Your credit score impacts many areas of your life, including the loans and credit cards you can qualify for and, in some cases, your insurance rates.¹ Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your opportunities to obtain credit and get better interest rates.

If you’re wondering how to get an 850 credit score, which is the highest credit score, it can take time and requires certain financial habits. Let’s discuss some possible ways to get the highest credit score.

Is it possible to get an 850 credit score?

It is possible to get an 850 credit score, which many view as the maximum or “perfect” credit score. However, perfect scores are based on numerous factors, so having an 850 score might not be a realistic goal for everyone.

Perfect credit is a testament to years of consistent financial behavior, including on-time bill payments and keeping credit usage at or below a certain threshold.

Why you should try to get a high credit score

An excellent credit score unlocks a lot of financial opportunities. Here’s why aiming high is worth it:

  • Lower interest rates: The most immediate benefit of a high credit score is the ability to secure lower interest rates on loans. Over time, these savings can be substantial, especially with large purchases like a home or a vehicle. A high credit score can also help you qualify for credit cards with rewards programs and perks.
  • Easier financing: Excellent credit typically means a smoother process for mortgages, auto loans, and other financing needs with better terms.
  • Better approval rates for top credit cards: Certain credit cards offer significant rewards and perks but usually require a strong credit score for approval. With an 850 credit score, you’ll have a better chance of being approved for these top-tier credit cards.
  • Improved rental approval rates: Many landlords use credit scores as part of their screening process, and a high score can demonstrate your responsibility and reliability as a tenant.²
  • Negotiation leverage: You can also use your credit score to negotiate lower rates on existing debts or new loans.
  • Better insurance rates: In some cases, insurance companies may also consider your credit score when determining your premiums. A higher credit score could mean lower insurance rates, saving you money in the long run.³

How do I get a perfect credit score?

If you’re wondering how to get a perfect credit score, you just need to focus on improving your existing credit score. Over time, when you manage your credit accounts strategically and avoid negative marks on your credit report, your score will increase and potentially reach the 800s. Here are some key strategies to implement.

Understand your credit report and score

Before you can improve your credit, you need to know where you stand. Start by checking your credit score online. Then, request a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and review it for any errors or discrepancies that could negatively impact your score.

Pay bills on-time

The most crucial factor in achieving a high credit score is consistently paying your bills on time. You could be charged a late fee if you miss a credit card or loan payment. Missing a payment can also decrease your credit score. Payment history impacts 35% of your credit score calculation, so it’s a very significant factor.⁴

Even if you miss payments on utility bills or certain medical bills, this can negatively impact your credit score, and the company can send your account to collections. Set up monthly automatic payments or reminders to avoid late or missed payments.

Pay off your balance in full

Paying your balance in full each month helps you avoid interest charges, shows that you are responsible with credit, and can help improve your score. Credit card balances can get out of control if you just pay the minimum each month and don’t pay off the remaining balance.

Set a budget and determine how much you can realistically pay on your monthly credit card bill. Consider this amount your new monthly limit, so you don’t carry a large balance each month.

Keep your credit utilization rate low

Credit utilization refers to the percentage of your available credit that you use. Keep your credit utilization below 30% to maintain a good score.

For example, if your credit card limit is $2,500, you want to keep your balance at or below $750 at all times (2,500 x .30 = 750).

That said, you also want to focus on what you can afford to pay back each month. If $750 feels like too much for you to spend on your credit card, spend less so the balance doesn’t accumulate and get out of control over time. Credit utilization often impacts 30% of your credit score.⁴

Work toward paying down existing debt

If you have outstanding debt, work to pay it down to increase your credit score. The lower your total debt, the better it is for your credit score because this lowers your credit utilization rate and total amounts owed.

Create a budget that includes room for debt payments each month. Look for ways to reduce your expenses and earn extra money to put more money toward debt.

Sometimes paying off debt like a student loan can cause your credit score to decrease slightly. This is because it may reduce your credit mix and your payment history once that account closes. If you notice a dip in your credit score, it should only be temporary and your credit score will go up after more positive payment history is recorded.⁵

Don’t apply for credit too often

Each application can result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can affect your score. Applying for multiple new credit accounts in a short period of time can also negatively impact your score.

However, with auto loans or mortgages, multiple hard inquiries occurring during a short time frame can be counted as just one hard inquiry. This is because some scoring models consolidate your applications when shopping for the best loan terms.² Only apply for new credit when necessary and research beforehand to find offers that are likely to be approved.

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An excellent credit score is attainable

While achieving an 850 credit score may not be everyone’s goal, working towards a higher credit score can be helpful if you’re looking for better loan terms and more flexible credit options.

Now that you know how to get a good credit score, remember to put healthy financial habits like paying bills on-time and keeping your credit utilization low to continue working toward excellent credit over time.

Learn more about how often your credit score updates.

FAQs

How long does it take to get a credit score?

The time it takes to establish a credit score can vary depending on several factors, including your credit history, financial behavior, and the scoring model used. When you open your first credit account, the activity is reported to the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). This typically happens within 30 to 60 days after opening an account. It can typically take a few months to generate a credit score as you continued to use your credit responsibly and make timely payment.

Is an 850 credit score achievable for everyone?

While having a perfect credit score may not be realistic or necessary for everyone, anyone can achieve a high score by following the steps outlined above and maintaining good financial habits. Remember that everyone’s credit journey is different, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t reach an 850 score right away. With patience and consistency, a high credit score is attainable for anyone.

Does anyone have a 900 credit score?

The highest possible credit score currently is 850, and even achieving that takes dedication and responsible financial habits. Instead of trying to get a “perfect” score, aim for a good or excellent score (usually in the range of 700-850), as this will still provide many advantages for financing and credit opportunities.

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

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Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

¹ Information from Texas Department of Insurance's 'How your credit score can affect your insurance rates' as of April 10, 2024: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/tips/credit-score.html

² Information from TransUnion's 'How Renting Can Impact Your Credit' as of April 10, 2024: https://www.transunion.com/blog/credit-advice/how-renting-can-impact-your-credit

³ Information from Experian's 'Do Auto Insurance Companies Consider Your Credit Score?' as of April 10, 2024: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/why-do-car-insurance-companies-base-their-rates-on-credit-scores/

⁴ Information from Experian's 'What Affects Your Credit Scores?' as of April 10, 2024: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/score-basics/what-affects-your-credit-scores/

⁵ Information from Equifax's 'Why Your Credit Score May Drop After Paying Off Debt' as of April 22, 2024: https://www.equifax.com/personal/education/credit/score/articles/-/learn/why-credit-scores-may-drop-after-paying-off-debt/

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