A 771 credit score is often considered very good — or even excellent.
A very good or excellent credit score can mean you’re more likely to be approved for good offers and rates when it comes to mortgages, auto loans and credit cards with rewards and other perks. This is because a high credit score may indicate that you’re less risky to lend to.
Lenders use this three-digit indicator, which is calculated from all the information collected in your credit reports, to gauge how likely they think you may be to default on your loans — and the higher the score, the better you look to a lender.
But even having an excellent credit score doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in — there are still no guarantees when it comes to credit approval.
A credit score can be an important factor when you apply for credit, yes. But you actually have multiple credit scores from different sources, each one drawing on data from your various credit reports with the major consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). A credit score may be considered “excellent” according to one scoring model but could be calculated differently using another model that weighs certain factors differently, resulting in a different score altogether.
Also, scoring models and lenders can have different interpretations of what qualifies as “excellent.” And when it’s time to make a decision about whether to extend credit to you, lenders typically consider other factors not reflected in your scores, such as your income or employment status.
This means that while having excellent credit is a good sign that you already have a healthy credit profile, it’s still important to understand what goes into your credit scores so you can maintain your hard-won credit.
Learn more about keeping up and making the most of an excellent credit score.
|Percentage of generation with 750–850 credit scores|
“Excellent” score range identified based on 2021 Credit Karma data.
- How to get a 771 credit score
- Auto loans for excellent credit
- Mortgage rates for excellent credit
- The best credit cards for excellent credit
How to get a 771 credit score
You might be wondering how to achieve a specific credit score, but there’s no exact formula to reach that perfect number.
When it comes to building excellent credit overall, there are generally five factors that make up the scoring.
- Payment history
- Credit usage
- Length of credit history
- Credit mix
- New credit
Putting them all together: People with excellent credit should be able to demonstrate a significant track record of on-time payments, with a variety of credit types, without racking up a lot of credit card debt.
So whether you’re content with your current score or looking to join the 800 club, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you take the next step in your credit journey.
- Set up autopay. Even the most astute individuals can forget a due date every now and then, especially if you have more than one credit card to manage. (I sure have!) But even one late payment could send your credit scores spiraling downward. That’s why we recommend setting up autopay for all your bills.
- Pay early. Even if you pay your credit card bill in full by the billing due date, the statement balance at the end of the billing cycle is what typically gets reported to the credit bureaus. This could make your credit utilization ratio fluctuate unexpectedly, which, in turn, could cause your scores to dip. To avoid this, we recommend manually paying your full account balance before your billing cycle closes, so that it gets reported as $0. If you haven’t been doing this, you might notice a significant boost to your credit scores when you start.
- Don’t worry about adding a loan to your credit mix. You might have heard that lenders want to see you manage a mix of revolving credit and installment loans. While it’s nice to show you can balance all types of credit, it’s not worth applying for a loan you don’t need, and then paying interest on that loan, just to improve your credit mix. Let it happen naturally over time.
- But don’t be afraid to apply for new credit cards in moderation. Initially, the hard inquiry may cause your scores to drop slightly. But in the long run, a new credit card could help increase your available credit, which could lower your credit utilization ratio. And the longer you keep it open, the more it could help increase your length of credit history. Speaking of that …
- Don’t close old credit cards just because you aren’t using them anymore. Keeping your old credit cards open can help increase your length of credit history. Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule, and if your old card has an expensive annual fee, you’ll have to weigh the pros of keeping it open against the cons of how much it affects your score before deciding whether to close it.
See how your length of credit history compares among people from different generations.
|Age of open accounts by credit score range|
|Credit score range||Avg. age (years)|
Ranges identified based on 2021 Credit Karma data.
Auto loans for excellent credit
Having excellent credit can mean that you’re more likely to get approved for car loans with the best rates, but it’s still not a guarantee.
That’s why it’s important to shop around and compare offers to find the best loan terms and rates available to you. Even with excellent credit, the rates you may be offered at dealerships could be higher than rates you might find at a bank, credit union or online lender.
You can figure out what these different rates and terms might mean for your monthly auto loan payment with our auto loan calculator.
And when you decide on an auto loan, consider getting preapproved. A preapproval letter from a lender can be helpful when you’re negotiating the price of your vehicle at a dealership, but be aware that it might involve a hard inquiry.
If you have excellent credit, it could also be worth crunching the numbers on refinancing an existing auto loan — you might be able to find a better rate if your credit has improved since you first financed the car.
Compare car loans on Credit Karma to explore your options.
Mortgage rates for excellent credit
Having excellent credit is one of the first steps to getting a great mortgage rate. But there are other factors at play here too, like the total cost of your home and your debt-to-income ratio.
Once you’ve got a sense of how much house you can afford and the type of mortgage you want, it’s time to shop around to understand the rates that might be available to you. Getting a mortgage preapproval can help you understand how much you can borrow and make your offer more competitive.
Compare current mortgage rates on Credit Karma to explore your options.
The best credit cards for excellent credit
With excellent credit, you could be eligible for some of the best credit card offers.
This might include premium rewards cards that come with more-valuable rewards and top-notch perks like travel credits, free hotel nights, airport lounge access, complimentary upgrades and elite status. Keep in mind that these cards also tend to carry expensive annual fees and higher interest rates if you carry a balance. So you’ll have to weigh the benefits against the costs to see if it’s worth it for your wallet.
On the other hand, if you’re paying down credit card debt, you also might see offers for the best balance transfer cards that come with longer 0% intro APR periods and higher credit limits.
Explore credit cards for excellent credit on Credit Karma to see what’s available.
Practically speaking, your excellent credit should qualify you for the best credit cards, loans and mortgages.
You may be content with your high scores and see no financial incentive to reach even higher. But for some people, it may provide a sense of credit accomplishment to see hard work come to fruition, knowing you worked hard to get to a credit score in the 800s.
If reaching the pinnacle of credit is your goal, you might want to consider setting up autopay, paying off your credit card balance before the billing cycle closes, and keeping your old credit cards open, even if you don’t use them very often.