How to Get Your Credit Score from Good to Great

It’s nearly impossible to get a perfect 850 credit score. But an excellent credit score—between 800 and 850, according to FICO—is within your reach. Many people with very good credit scores (740–799), though, find that once they reach “very good” levels, their credit score stops moving.

Even if you do everything right, it can feel impossible to move your score from Very Good to Excellent. We’re here to help you move those numbers up, to make a good thing even better.

Credit experts suggest three things to help someone with a good credit score get to an excellent credit score:

Pay in Full

If it’s within your means, pay your full credit card balance every time. On time. No exceptions. One of the biggest factors to affect your credit score is your credit utilization. Basically, credit companies want to see that you don’t need the full line of credit offered. Or that, if you do, you can pay it off right away.

Pay in Advance

If you’re already paying your balance in full every month, it’s possible you’re a victim of bad timing. If you haven’t yet paid your balance at the time the credit lenders send their reports every month—even if you’ll pay it in full—that amount appears on the report as the amount you owe, which may impact your credit utilization numbers. One credit expert suggests paying down most but not all your balance in advance, leaving on a little to pay on the actual due date.

Take Out a Small Loan—and Diligently Pay It Back

Sometimes your credit score is limited by the number or type of credit lines you have open or the age of your credit. This is just plain unfair to younger people, who have had less time to age their credit and less need to take out additional credit lines. Taking out a loan you know you can afford to pay back is a way to diversify your credit and keep building up a good score.

WARNING: Be on the lookout for schmoozy companies offering easy-peasy loans for impossibly low interest rates. Hint: they’re impossibly low because they are impossible. Many of these companies will take advantage of your relative inexperience with credit and won’t deliver on what they offer. You won’t get that with Andi. We offer Personal Loans and credit cards so that you can build your credit with someone you trust. What you see is what you get.

Remember, even if you have a good or great credit score, don’t disregard your credit report. Even though they may seem wordy and generic, they contain information that’s specific to you. This information can help you figure out what exactly is affecting your credit score and help you improve it.