When you check your credit, you will likely see a note on the site that indicates that the range of possible scores go from 300 to 850. These are the most common models of credit scores, so to answer the question in the title above, no, a 900 credit score is not possible in these models.
However, there are some older models, as well as alternative models, that do go up to a score of 900 (or even beyond). While you may not ever encounter these particular ratings, as they aren’t widely used and most likely won’t come up the next time you apply for credit, it is useful to become familiar with them.
The most important thing is to know where your score stands on a traditional credit score range, as these are the scoring models that are used most often. There are plenty of sites out there, both free and paid, where you can see your current score.
In the post below, we’ll get into the older and alternative models that use a scoring range that exceeds 900.
What Models Use a 900+ Credit Score?
There are only a handful of credit scoring models that go to a maximum score of 900 or above. Each of these models start at a different starting point (minimum score). You may only encounter some of these models, like the FICO Auto Score, in very specific situations. Other scores, like the VantageScore 1.0 and 2.0, are older and no longer used today.
A 900 (or Better) Credit Score is Possible With These Types of Scores
- FICO Auto and Bankcard Scores
- Range: 250 to 900
- Provider: Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)
- TransRisk Score
- Range: 100 to 900
- Provider: TransUnion
- VantageScores 1.0 and 2.0
- Range: 501 to 990
- Provider: VantageScore
- Experian National Risk Score
- Range: 0 to 1000
- Provider: Experian
Of the scores listed above, the newest ones that go up to 900 are the FICO Auto Score 9 and the FICO Bankcard Score 9.
Some of the scores above, like the VantageScore versions 1.0 and 2.0, have been retired and are no longer in use. They have been updated to newer versions, 3.0 and 4.0, which use a standard scoring range of 300-850.
Speaking of “retired”: Check out all our investing and retirement advice on our homepage here.
The two companies mentioned above, FICO and VantageScore, are far and away the largest credit-scoring companies in the United States. Regardless of what source you are getting your scores from, they will likely be pulled from one of these two companies.
What Credit Score Should You Aim For?
Now that you know that achieving a 900 credit score is not possible (except for in select scoring models or models that are no longer in use), it is time to stop dreaming about getting a 900 score and instead set your objective at getting a credit score of 800. In the traditional scoring range of 300-850, getting a credit score of 800 or above is what is considered as “perfect” credit. Anything above around 800 will not save you any extra money, meaning that an 800 score is just as good as 850.
So how do you get there? The first step is to get a credit analysis to see where you stand today and get recommendations for raising your score. There are many easy steps you can take to get started.
Of course, the biggest factor is paying your bills on time. Even one late payment can ding your score for a long time. Late payments have less of an impact as time goes on, but one late payment can stay on your report for up to 7 years. If you’re looking at investing in a home, for example, a recent late payment won’t look too good to lenders.
Also keep your credit utilization in check, which is the percentage of credit you are using against your credit limits. For instance, if you have two credit cards with a combined limit of $10,000, and you currently have a total balance of $2,000, then your utilization is 20%.
Additionally, avoid applying for new credit. It will add a hard inquiry to your report, indicating that you are shopping for more credit. On top of that, should you open a new credit account, that will bring the average age of your credit accounts down. Only apply for new debt when it is an absolute necessity. Rather than financing an engagement ring, for example, plan ahead and sock some money away to pay for it in cash.