What is the highest achievable FICO score?
The highest possible FICO score is 850, the lowest is 300.
Your credit score is calculated from your credit report and there are many different ways of doing this. Here is a good post about your credit report versus credit score.
The concept behind the FICO score comes from the Fair Isaac Corporation, they apply different weightings to components of your credit report such as:
- Payment history
- Accounts owed
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Credit mix
In general, a FICO credit score above 650 is considered good, although many people strive to be above 750. It is practically impossible to score a perfect 850 FICO score because there are a lot of different items from your credit report which go into calculating your FICO score. Keep in mind that different lenders (mortgage, credit card, automobile loan) will use different methods of credit scoring to assess your credit risk.
Stephen Rischall, CRPC
To inspire you to achieve the highest score, that goal is 850. The last time I read an article from the WSJ (maybe two years ago); only 3 million U.S. adults have the perfect score. It’s one thing to reach for it, but it’s another to keep it, perpetually. It demands lots of financial discipline.
Here are some financial tips to get there: 1) Merely paying your bills on time is no longer enough. Don’t get me wrong about this fundamental habit; the consequence of not paying what you owe on time is the ding on your credit history every time. Since we’re talking about shooting for the highest score, you’ve got to do more than pay on time. Instead of paying one time per month, why not do two payments per month or on a bi-weekly basis? Show the credit card companies how prudent you are. 2) Spend no more than 10% of the credit limit, consistently. If your credit limit is $1,000, then the magic number for you not to cross is $100. Think creatively in advance what you can do with a $100 budget. Could it be your gas bill, eating out, books, etc? Use your imaginations, and best of luck!
I believe the highest score is 850, however, most of the population don't come anywhere near that. If you have a score in the high 700's or low 800's you are in great shape and should be able to get a very competitive rate on a loan.
Generally, the highest achievable FICO score is 850 but it depends on your purpose for borrowing and which model is being used. "FICO" comes from a company's name; Fair Isaac Corporation. Fair Isaac Corporation, now commonly referred to as FICO, is a company that specializes in predictive analysis. The three main credit bureaus that use FICO's algorithms to provide you with a credit score are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These credit bureaus also have their own methods of calculating a credit score in-house, although most lenders will use a borrower's FICO score when making lending decisions. VantageScore, a scoring system developed by Equifax, is an example of an in-house method used as an alternative to FICO. There are many versions of VantageScore, VantageScore 2.0 has a maximum score of 990. This makes it possible for someone to believe they have a FICO score greater than 850, when in reality, the VantageScore 2.0 score of 990 translates into a FICO score of 850.
There are many credit algorithms used in practice which is one reason people get conflicting scores. The newest FICO algorithm is FICO 9 but not every credit bureau or bank uses this formula because it is cumbersome to change their business processes.
FICO scores will also vary depending on what purpose the borrower is borrowing. This means that a lender will often use different scores when a borrower is applying for a car loan compared to applying for a credit card. This is because different formulas are being used, such as FICO Auto Score. FICO Auto is an example of a FICO score that surpasses the classic 850 maximum score. FICO Auto possesses scores that range from 250-900 compared to a basic FICO score which ranges from 300-850. In addition to FICO Auto there are other FICO options for certain circumstances that allow a score greater than 850 but they are specialized scores and not a classic FICO score.
I hope you found this helpful.