5 Tips for a Holy Grail Credit Score

A credit score in the 800s is like the holy grail of credit. If you have a score in this range, lenders will be clambering to get your business. You’ll get access to the absolute best mortgage rates in the market, which means interest cost savings, which means more money in your pocket. And that is always a good thing. So how do you get an 800+ score?

First, let’s take a look at how your credit score is calculated. And what makes up your score:

  1. Payment History – 35%*
  2. Utilization Ratio – 30%
  3. Credit History – 15%
  4. Credit Types – 10%
  5. Credit Inquiries – 10%

*percentages are approximate

1. HAVE A GOOD PAYMENT HISTORY

The largest portion of your credit score is based on your payment history. Ask yourself: Do you pay your bills on time? Do you pay more than the minimum amount? The easiest way to keep your score up is to pay your bills on time and pay more than the minimum amount. It’s that simple.

2. LOW UTILIZATION RATE

How much of your credit do you use? If you have a credit card limit of $1000, do you carry a balance of $900 or $90 every month? Someone that owes $90 on a $1000 limit is better than someone who owes $900 on a $1000 limit. On average, people with an 800+ score usually use less than 10% of their available credit. Get your ratio as low as possible to ensure you keep your high.

3. BUILD CREDIT HISTORY

A good portion of your score is based on your credit history and the average age of all of your accounts. Simple tip: don’t close your accounts. If you are not using one, keep it open anyway or else the history of that account will be deleted. Especially don’t close your very first credit card or that credit card you got in college! The longer your credit history, the better.

4. USE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CREDIT

Unfortunately, having only one credit card doesn’t really cut it. In general, lenders like to see you have at least 2 tradelines, active for at least 2 years. Tradelines means credit cards, lines of credit, car loans, installment loans, etc. Having different types of credit provides lenders with enough information about your repayment history. That said, don’t take out unnecessary loans as this is only a small part of your credit score.

5. CREDIT INQUIRIES

Every time you consent to a credit check it will affect your credit. But don’t be alarmed as it only makes up about 10% of your score. Your score is only affected by “hard inquiries.” This happens when you apply for a new credit card, mortgage, or loan. Applying for a lot a credit at once can drop your score, as it says that you shopping for loans. However, checking your own credit score is known as a ‘soft inquiry’ and does not affect your score, so check your score to see how you rank!

Getting a holy grail credit score is as not as hard as you think. It’s as easy as following these 5 tips and remaining diligent about your finances. Start today and you’ll be in the 800 club in no time.