In order to know what the “highest credit score” is, you need the associated credit score scale. You see, not all credit scores are created equal, and without knowing the range, the number will mean very little to the end user.
Highest FICO Score
Fortunately, we know the credit score range for FICO scores runs from 300-850, so the highest FICO score would be 850. Pretty simple, right?
But like everything in the credit scoring world, there are exceptions. For instance, FICO has a credit score for car leasing companies that ranges from 250-900, meaning the highest credit score in that case would actually be 900. So if you had an 850 credit score, it wouldn’t be the perfect score you thought it was, simply a very good credit score.
The other (fairly) widely used credit score out there comes from VantageScore, which was developed by the three major credit reporting agencies in response to FICO’s heavy-handedness and domination of the market.
We know the VantageScore ranges from 501-990, so the highest VantageScore you can attain is 990. I’m not sure if they have different scoring models based on industry, such as car leasing, mortgage, etc., but there’s a decent chance they do.
To be sure, always look at the associated credit report or summary to see if it contains the credit score range; that way you’ll know where you stand without question.
*Most credit reports or credit score monitoring programs should contain the scoring range for your convenience.
Highest Credit Score Has Its Limits
All that said, you don’t need the highest credit score possible to have what many would consider excellent credit.
A perfect credit score will do little more than boost your ego, so don’t fret if it’s a few dozen points or more shy of perfection.
Heck, most creditors don’t have any pricing benefits for borrowers with FICO scores beyond 760, so if your credit score is around that level, you’re probably getting the most out it.
For example, a bank or mortgage lender may offer the lowest interest rate to borrowers with FICO scores of 760 and higher, but nothing better for those with say 800 FICO scores.
So once you hit a certain point, there is a bit of a ceiling, at least with respect to credit scoring thresholds.
Sure, a loan underwriter may see an 800 credit score as superior to a 760 credit score, but it probably won’t change anything. It’ll just save them some time, maybe.
All that said, you should concern yourself more with practicing healthy credit habits than trying to attain perfection, which probably isn’t even possible.
In the end, as long as you’re ranking better than the majority of the population, you’ll receive the most favorable terms and highest chances of approval on the loans you apply for.