The Holy Grail of Credit: How to Increase Your Credit Score to 800

Obtaining a credit score of 800 can open up doors for individuals and small business owners when it comes to borrowing at lower interest rates.

It’s a simple three-digit number, but it can make or break your financial dreams.

When it comes to applying for a business loan, credit card, or mortgage, knowing how to increase your credit score to 800 can be the difference between smooth financial sailing and (costly) roadblocks.

Indeed, your FICO score (as the credit score system is known) is one of the most important factors influencing business loan decisions.

Credit scores in the 800 range show excellent creditworthiness, dependability, and sound financial management. Having one affects the amount you can borrow and the interest rate you receive.

In short, being in the “800 Club” is pretty hot stuff.

If you’re aiming to join it, then unfortunately they don’t give out invites. Instead, you have to learn how to increase your credit score to 800 through some old-fashioned hard work.

This may be difficult for some, but not impossible.

Several factors can stop you from increasing your credit score to 800. Some of the most common barriers include having outstanding debt, late or missed payments, limited credit history, high credit utilization, and errors on your credit report.

An 800 credit score opens doors to opportunities that may be unavailable otherwise. However, the path to achieving this credit level remains unclear for many.

With this in mind, we've questioned financial experts and combined useful information to cover the following:

  1. What does it mean to have an 800 credit score?
  2. How are FICO credit scores calculated?
  3. How to increase your credit score to 800: 9 simple tips
  4. What are the benefits of joining the “800 Club”?

Looking for quick business funding that doesn’t demand an “800 Club” credit score? Duckfund uses AI-powered scoring tools that bypass traditional credit scoring to give you fair and flexible business funding in less than 48 hours.

1. What does it mean to have an 800 credit score?

A borrower's creditworthiness is determined by a three-digit number known as a credit score.

The two most commonly used scoring models are FICO® and VantageScore®, which employ a convergent scoring system, a credit score calculation method that evaluates the borrower's creditworthiness. FICO and VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0 share a similar range of scores (300 to 850) and grading scales, including bad, fair, good, very good, and exceptional categories.

how to increase credit score to 800

According to the scoring range, a credit score of 800 is considered exceptional.

Yet, as of April 2022, FICO reported that only 23.3% (almost a quarter) of Americans have a credit score of 800 or above. A high credit score indicates that the user is financially responsible, has a diverse credit profile, maintains a low credit utilization ratio, and has a long, timely payment history.

But, it doesn't guarantee that a lender will approve financing for a small business, such as a line of credit (LOC).

“It might be surprising to know that people with perfect credit scores do, in fact, use credit, take out loans, and carry debt. The distinguishing factor is how they manage their debt,” says Megan Doyle, American Express credit intel freelance contributor.

how to increase credit score to 800

Managing debt responsibly and maintaining a diverse credit profile is important in achieving a high credit score, and this is within reach for anyone who is committed to being financially responsible.

2. How are FICO credit scores calculated?

Multiple factors contribute to FICO’s credit score calculation. The default method includes the following five components

how to increase credit score to 800

Payment history (35%)

The borrower's track record of timely loan payments is one of the most important indicators of their reliability. Creditors evaluate the following elements when assessing a borrower's creditworthiness:

  • Have all the borrower's accounts on their credit report been paid on time?
  • How long were payments delayed: 30, 60, or more than 90 days? The longer a payment is overdue, the more damage it does to a person's credit.
  • How frequently and when exactly did the borrower miss a payment? For instance, a borrower with a history of late payments on small business revolving or installment loans but who hasn't missed a payment in the last four years will be seen as less of a risk than someone who has missed just one payment within the last year.

Amounts owed / credit utilization (30%)

This factor considers the borrower's credit utilization ratio, which is the ratio of their debt to their credit limit. Lenders are wary of borrowers who use a significant portion of their available credit, as they may have difficulty repaying future loans.

Credit history length (15%)

Lenders prefer borrowers who have a long history of making timely payments. To assess a borrower's creditworthiness, they consider the age of the borrower's oldest account and the average age of all accounts. Ideally, the best applicant is someone who has managed multiple credit accounts successfully for many years without defaulting on any of them.

Credit mix (10%)

Credit bureaus favorably view those individuals who use various credit products, such as car loans, retail accounts, student loans, and personal loans, if payments are made on time.

Yet, while diversifying your credit products is beneficial, it is only a small component of the overall credit score and not a requirement.

New credit (10%)

Opening multiple accounts simultaneously can temporarily lower a borrower's credit score. Lenders consider this a red flag because borrowers typically take on more debt or experience cash flow issues when they do this.

3. How to increase your credit score to 800: 9 simple tips

With so many positive outcomes associated with having a high credit score, the question arises: how can I raise my credit score to 800?

The right approach and effort can achieve a sub-800 score.

A. Pay bills on time every time

Maintaining a spotless payment history is crucial for improving a credit score, as it constitutes the largest portion of the FICO score. Therefore, the primary goal should be to ensure that all payments are made on time and without delay.

In case of a missed payment, it is essential to rectify the situation before the lender reports it to the credit bureaus, typically 30 days after the due date. Setting up automatic on-time payments to pay off the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle is a useful tip to avoid late fees and simplify the payment process.

“Prompt payments are the single most important factor, making up roughly 35% of a credit score. To get there, set up autopay or reminders so you’re never late,” says Matt Schulz, the chief credit analyst at LendingTree.

matt schulz lending tree

B. Keep credit card balances low

The credit utilization ratio is the second major factor in determining a credit score, representing the percentage of available credit used. According to Experian, keeping the credit utilization ratio at 30% or less is generally advisable to avoid exceeding the credit limit.

For example, if your credit limit is $5,000, the balance should not exceed $1,500. Both individual and total credit card balances are factored into the credit utilization ratio.

It's worth noting that the average credit utilization ratio for individuals with an 800-credit score is 11.5%.

C. Be mindful of credit history

Access to the “800 Club” is limited to individuals with many years of spotless payment history.

As such, the length of the established credit history is a critical factor in determining the credit score. It's advisable to avoid canceling outdated credit accounts, as doing so can harm the credit rating. Instead, make occasional payments on these accounts before they expire.

D. Improve your mix of credit

Credit scoring models tend to favor more diverse data.

Monthly bill paying is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your ability to manage multiple credit accounts simultaneously, such as a mortgage, auto loan, and school loan.

While it's true that using a credit card for routine purchases, financing a vehicle purchase, and securing a mortgage all require some form of borrowing, it's not necessary to seek them out altogether actively.

E. Review credit reports

A common question people ask is “Does checking my credit score lower it?”

Contrary to popular belief, checking your credit score does not lower it. Since such checks are considered soft credit inquiries, they don’t affect the credit score. In fact, checking the credit report regularly is important to ensure it accurately reflects good behavior, particularly when you have a low score.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately one in five consumers have errors on their credit reports. As a result, it's essential to check credit reports frequently for inaccuracies and dispute any errors with the lender or credit reporting agencies.

“There’s a misconception that credit reports are, for the most part, accurate. And that is not true. Errors are more common than people realize,” says Daniel Rosen, the CEO of Credit Repair Cloud.

Daniel rosen credit report cloud

F. Avoid opening new accounts too often

When someone opens a new account, the lender will likely run a hard inquiry on their credit report(s). According to FICO, each hard inquiry will drop the credit score by up to five points.

Also, suppose the individual has too many hard inquiries on their credit report. In that case, it may appear as if they are constantly attempting to open new credit accounts, causing lenders to be wary of lending to them.

G. Budget money wisely

Avoid taking on any additional debt that could be difficult to repay. It is important to only spend what you earn or can afford on your credit card.

Individuals with a credit score of 800 are financially responsible and do not borrow more than they can repay. It is recommended to refrain from using credit cards for day-to-day expenses and save up for an emergency fund in case of unforeseen events such as a car breakdown.

H. Consolidate current credit card debt

Debt consolidating is preferable to carrying multiple credit card balances. To illustrate, if someone has two credit cards with different balances and interest rates, they can consolidate the debt with a credit repair loan. This will make the payment process easier and ensure that all payments are made on schedule.

I. Start using credit cards like a debit card

Instead of using credit cards for big, unnecessary expenditures, you can put the money that would have been spent on those things toward smaller, more manageable expenses like petrol, bills, and subscriptions.

This method can be useful in avoiding having the credit card company cancel the account or lower the credit limit due to inactivity. Additionally, making such manageable monthly payments demonstrates the ability to use credit responsibly, positively impacting the credit score.

4. What are the benefits of joining the “800 Club”?

There are many advantages to having an excellent credit score and becoming a member of the “800 Club”, which motivates many people to look for ways to increase their credit score to 800 and beyond.

Below are the top benefits of obtaining this top score.

Greater chance of credit approval

Lenders are likely to grant financing if an individual's credit score is 800 or higher, as it demonstrates that the borrower is a low-risk candidate. A credit score of 800 exceeds the minimum criteria of any lender, regardless of the type of loan requested.

Better credit offer

There are credit cards only available to members of the "800 Club," and these cards offer some of the best rewards and features. Additionally, loans available to individuals with excellent credit scores usually come with more favorable terms than those offered to borrowers with lower credit ratings.

Lower interest rates

The interest rate on loans can add up to significant costs each year, especially for long-term loans. According to Business Insider, borrowers with a credit score of 800 or more may qualify for the lowest interest rates, resulting in substantial savings over time.

Greater borrowing potential

A greater credit limit is a major benefit of a high credit score.

It raises the spending power and aids in keeping credit use low. A credit score of 800 or above reduces the chances of being denied a business loan, and makes it easier to obtain funding for various purposes, such as commercial property investments, business loans, and personal loans.

Lower premiums for insurance

Individuals with a credit score of 800 or higher are seen as low-risk borrowers with responsible financial habits and a history of paying off debt. This can lead to lower insurance premiums, as insurers consider these individuals less likely to file claims or default on their insurance payments.

If you employ the above points correctly, they can put you on the path to increasing your credit score to 800.

Yet, it's important to note that it takes time and effort to achieve a perfect score. Regularly monitoring your credit report, paying bills on time, keeping credit utilization low, and avoiding unnecessary debt are all essential steps toward gaining entry to that much-vaulted “800 Club”.

[Looking for reliable funding without FICO-related hassle? Duckfund provides SME business loans that don’t require credit checks in less than 48 hours and with lower interest rates than traditional loans.]


  • A good credit score determines a borrower's creditworthiness. The two most commonly used scoring models are FICO and VantageScore.
  • According to FICO, a credit score of 800 is considered exceptional credit, but 23.3% of Americans have a credit score of 800 or above.
  • FICO credit scores are calculated based on five components: payment history, amounts owed/credit utilization, credit history length, credit mix, and new credit.
  • Benefits of having an 800 credit score include a greater chance of credit approval, better credit offers, lower interest rates, greater borrowing potential, and lower premiums for insurance.
  • To increase your credit score to 800, pay bills on time, keep credit utilization low, maintain a long credit history, diversify your credit mix, and avoid opening multiple accounts simultaneously.

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