Your credit score is more important than ever these days, saving you countless dollars on your credit card rates, mortgage, auto and student loans, and even insurance or getting your dream job.

And U.S. consumers have done a relatively good job maintain scores lately, as the average FICO reached over 700 last year (714).

But for those who are really looking to access the very best rates, loans, deals, and savings, achieving an exceptional score is the goal – or even a perfect FICO.

So, what is a perfect FICO? FICO Scores range between 300 and 850, and anything above 800 is considered “Exceptional.” According to reports, about 21% of U.S. consumers – more than 1 in 5 – have a FICO Score above 800, or exceptional.

But when it comes to reaching the top of the credit score mountain, a perfect 850 score, a 2019 Experian study found that only 1.2% of Americans (with credit) had perfect 850 scores!

Why is an 850 score such a big deal? Think of it from the perspective of a lender, retailer, or someone who is extending credit, who use credit scores as a barometer for extending more debt. They know that statistically, if someone has an 850 credit score, they are far less likely than 1% to become seriously delinquent on any of their credit lines!

So, what are the common characteristics among consumers with a perfect 850 FICO Score?

  • When it comes to late payments, they are extremely rare (if not unheard of) among those with an exceptional credit score, and appear on 0% of the credit reports of those with 850 scores.
  • Those with an 850 FICO Score have an average utilization rate of just 5.8% according to research, FAR less than the 30% or less we’re often told as standard credit score advice.
  • A study discovered that consumers with 850 credit scores tend to have more credit accounts but hold less debt with each of those.
  • In fact, the average perfect scorer has 6.4 credit cards in their name but only $3,000 in debt balances. Conversely, the national average among all credit consumers is 3.8 cards and $6,500 in debt.
  • Those with perfect 850 scores have accounts that are older and well-seasoned, since credit history accounts for about 15% of your credit score.
  • 850-scorers also have a healthy mix of credit, including mortgage debt, auto loans, and more. Those with exceptional credit scores (or better) hold an average of $208,617 in mortgage debt, while those with an 850 FICO have an average of $17,030 in auto loans.

A few more notes on achieving a perfect score:

A perfect 850 credit score is an amazing target to have, but an exceptional score over 800 will probably offer you all of the same benefits and advantages in the eyes of lenders.

However, those with high credit scores are also targets for identity theft and financial fraud, which is the fastest growing type of crime. In fact, Experian reports that the average consumer loss from identity theft is about $6,000, and it can also do irreparable harm to your credit score – even when you are not at all at fault.

It’s also worth noting that while a perfect score is obtainable (although extremely difficult), it is hard to maintain. Just about any change to your credit profile such as paying off a card, closing an account, applying for a new debt, etc. can drop your score.

So, it’s best not to worry about your perfect score and focus on best practices for credit management that will help you achieve an exceptional credit score.


Please contact Blue Water Credit if you have any questions and want to achieve an exceptional – or even perfect – credit score!