Here's How Many Americans Have a Perfect 850 Credit Score (2024)

Your credit score ranges from 300 to 850. There are technically many types of credit scores, and not all of them use this scale, but the most popular ones do. That includes the FICO® Score system, which is what's most widely used by lenders.

Since higher scores are better, an 850 is a perfect score. It's also notoriously difficult to reach. While improving your credit score isn't too difficult, getting the highest possible score is. It takes many years and quite a bit of work managing your credit.

So, just how rare is it to have a perfect credit score? A credit score study by The Motley Fool Ascent has the answer. After we look at that, we'll also cover why perfection isn't necessary when it comes to your credit score.

How many Americans have an 850 credit score?

Only 1.31% of Americans with a FICO® Score have a perfect 850 credit score. While a score this high is rare among any demographic, older generations are more likely to have perfect credit. Baby boomers make up a whopping 59.4% of the people with an 850 credit score. Millennials, on the other hand, make up just 4.1%, and Generation Z a mere 0.1%.

In terms of actual numbers, there were 258 million credit-eligible people as of the 2020 U.S. Census. However, some adults don't have enough data on their credit history for FICO to be able to calculate a score for them. They're considered "credit invisible."

FICO data scientists have estimated that 232 million U.S. consumers could be scored under the FICO® Score system. Based on that number, about 3.04 million Americans would have an 850 credit score.

Nobody needs perfect credit

The financial benefits of perfect credit are the same as having very good credit. The only special thing about perfect credit is bragging rights -- but showing off an 850 probably isn't going to make you the life of the party.

In terms of how high your credit score needs to be, a FICO® Score of at least 760 is fine. At that point, your score is high enough to pass any credit check, qualify for any financial product, and get the lowest rates on loans. You'll likely be able to qualify for all these:

  • Best credit cards
  • Low-interest mortgages
  • Low-interest personal loans

To be clear, no credit score guarantees you'll be approved for whatever you want. You can still get denied for a credit card or mortgage with a 760 credit score, or an 850. Lenders look at much more than just your credit score. But once you have a FICO® Score of 760, your credit won't hold you back from anything.

To sum it up, an 850 credit score is a lot of work for no real reward. A high credit score is beneficial, but an 850 isn't necessary.

How to improve your credit score

If it's not where you want it to be yet, here are a few tips that will help you raise your credit score:

  • Have at least one credit card you use regularly. To build credit, you need to borrow money and pay it back. A credit card is one of the best ways to do this. If you pay your full balance every month, you don't get charged credit card interest.
  • Always pay your bills by the due date. Your payment history is the most significant factor in your credit score. A late payment (meaning one that's past due by 30 days or more) on a credit card or loan can severely damage your credit.
  • Keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit. For example, if your card has a limit of $10,000, aim to always have the balance below $3,000. Another important part of your credit score is your credit utilization ratio, and using too much of your credit can cause issues.
  • Be selective when applying for new credit cards and loans. Opening new accounts and applying for new credit cards can lower your credit score. When you're trying to improve your credit, it's best to keep these to a minimum.

Some people think building credit is complicated, but it's really not. If you follow those habits, you can make fast progress with your credit score.

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Here's How Many Americans Have a Perfect 850 Credit Score (2024)


Here's How Many Americans Have a Perfect 850 Credit Score? ›

As of the third quarter of 2023, 1.54% of U.S. consumers had a FICO Score of 850, according to Experian data. Some notable traits of consumers with a perfect credit score include an above average number of credit cards, lower credit utilization rate and lower than average total debt.

What percentage of people have a perfect 850 credit score? ›

And when it comes to credit, 850 is the highest the FICO Score scale goes. For more and more U.S. consumers, practice is making perfect. According to recent Experian data, 1.54% of consumers have a "perfect" FICO Score of 850. That's up from 1.31% two years earlier.

Does anyone have a 900 credit score? ›

A credit score of 900 is not possible, but older scoring models that are no longer used once went up to 900 or higher. The highest possible credit score you can get now is 850.

How rare is an 830 credit score? ›

Your score falls in the range of scores, from 800 to 850, that is considered Exceptional. Your FICO® Score and is well above the average credit score. Consumers with scores in this range may expect easy approvals when applying for new credit. 21% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Exceptional range.

What percentage of people in the US have an 800 credit score? ›

Twenty-three percent of Americans have a credit score between 800 and 850, considered "exceptional" by FICO. A credit score at the top of that range -- 850 -- is considered a perfect score. Twenty-four percent have a FICO® Score between 750 and 799, making the "very good" bracket.

How rare is 825 credit score? ›

Membership in the 800+ credit score club is quite exclusive, with fewer than 1 in 6 people boasting a score that high, according to WalletHub data.

What is the average credit score in America? ›

What is the average credit score? The average FICO credit score in the US is 717, according to the latest FICO data. The average VantageScore is 701 as of January 2024. Credit scores, which are like a grade for your borrowing history, fall in the range of 300 to 850.

What is a perfect credit score to buy a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly mortgage payments.

What is everyone's first credit score? ›

The truth is there's no such thing as a “starting credit score.” Some people wonder whether the starting credit score is zero, for example, or whether we all start with a credit score of 300 (the lowest possible FICO score).

Can I buy a house with a 830 credit score? ›

Even the most restrictive mortgage products have credit score requirements in the mid-700s. A credit score of 830 will generally qualify you for a lender's best interest rates. As a real-world example, the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was just over 7% as of late October 2022.

What happens when you reach an 850 credit score? ›

Your 850 FICO® Score is nearly perfect and will be seen as a sign of near-flawless credit management. Your likelihood of defaulting on your bills will be considered extremely low, and you can expect lenders to offer you their best deals, including the lowest-available interest rates.

What is the average credit card debt in the US? ›

The average credit card balance is $6,501

According to data from Experian, the average credit card balance in the third quarter of 2023 was $6,501, up from $5,910 in 2022. These figures show that credit card debt is a growing issue for many American households.

Why is it so hard to get a 800 credit score? ›

To score this high, you must do an outstanding job of managing your credit. This means you likely have a long credit history, perfect payment history, a good credit mix and only use a small percentage of your total credit limit.

Is there a benefit to having an 850 credit score? ›

Your 850 FICO® Score is nearly perfect and will be seen as a sign of near-flawless credit management. Your likelihood of defaulting on your bills will be considered extremely low, and you can expect lenders to offer you their best deals, including the lowest-available interest rates.

How many people have a 750 credit score? ›

Your credit score helps lenders decide if you qualify for products like credit cards and loans, and your interest rate. A score of 750 puts you in a strong position. Roughly 48% of Americans had a score of 750 or above as of April 2023, according to credit scoring company FICO. FICO Blog.

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