Do you want to achieve an 800+ credit score? Building a superb credit score is easier than you might think. With a better credit score, it's easier to qualify for mortgage loans and auto loans, and you'll also qualify for the best interest rates. Whether your credit score is nonexistent, bad or fair, here are seven of the best ways to achieve an 800+ credit score.
1. Underuse Your Credit Cards
If you want to achieve an 800+ credit score, you have to use credit. But this doesn't suggest going overboard. Ideally, you should underuse your credit cards. Keeping balances below 30% of your credit line is a good place to start. However, if you carry a balance for month-to-month, you can generate a higher credit score by keeping balances no more than 10% of your credit line.
2. Pay off Cards Every Month
People with the highest credit scores have excellent credit habits, which includes paying off their credit card statements every month, and paying their bills on time. To achieve a high score, only charge what you can afford to pay off in a month's time. Also, consider online bill pay to ensure you never miss a monthly payment. Missed payments can result in late fees and additional interest.
3. Pay off Other Debts in Full
Although it's smart to maintain low credit card debt, building an amazing credit score involves limiting other types of debt as well. Some debts won't damage your credit score as long as you make timely payments, such as a mortgage and a student loan. If you get an auto loan or a personal loan, pay off these debts as soon as possible to raise your credit score.
4. Never Cosign a Loan
Cosigning a loan can hurt your credit score. This account appears on your credit report and counts towards your debt to income ratio. The more debt you owe, the lower your credit score. And if the primary account holder defaults, late payments will appear on your credit report causing damage to your credit score.
5. Dispute Inaccuracies
Check your credit report at least once a year for accuracy. If you notice unfamiliar accounts, credit report errors or suspicious activity, don't ignore this information. Errors and identity theft can ruin your credit score and it can take years to regain these points. Contact the credit bureaus immediately to start investigation.
6. Don't Close Old Accounts
Closing an older credit card account can temporarily drop your credit score because it reduces the length of your credit history. Even if you don't use an older credit card, keep this account open and keep the card in a safe place, such as a locked drawer. Use the credit card occasionally for small purchases to keep the account active, but pay off the card as soon as possible.
7. Be Patient
Your credit score isn't going to hit 800 overnight. It takes years and a lengthy credit history to achieve a score over 800, but you can do it. Just make sure you monitor your credit on a regular basis and you educate yourself on credit habits that can hurt or harm you.
With an 800+ credit score, you might qualify for any type of financing, providing you have income to support monthly payments. What are other tips for achieving an 800+ credit score?