After years of paying bills on time and playing your credit cards right, you finally made it. You’re a member of the 800+ credit score club, and you’re eager to find out what you can do with your elite status to better your life.
Now that you have an excellent credit score, a whole new world of lower interest rates, top-tier credit cards, and loan opportunities await.
Here are 8 things you can do with an 800-plus credit score:
1. Contact credit card issuers for lower interest rates
One of the perks that typically comes with a credit score of at least 800 is a lower interest rate when you apply for a credit card. But what if you can get better interest rates on the credit cards you already have?
To get the best interest rate, skip the credit card issuer’s contact form. Instead, get on the phone and make your case to a real person.
2. Trade up to a better credit card
You may have settled for average credit card terms while working your way to that 800+ credit score, but now you’re a credit card issuer’s dream cardholder. That means credit card companies are constantly besting each other’s offers and benefits to entice you to apply.
Now you’re ready to apply for cards offering $300 to $750 sign-up bonuses, lower interest rates, and 0% introductory APRs. You’ve also opened the door to higher cash back rewards ranging from 3% to 5% on certain purchases.
3. Ask about increasing credit limits
A higher credit limit can help improve your credit utilization rate, the balance-to-limit ratio on all revolving credit. Credit utilization comprises around 30% of your credit score, according to major credit bureau Experian, which recommends keeping your credit utilization rate below 30%.
Now is the time to call your credit card issuer and ask for a higher credit limit, explaining why you need more available credit. For instance, maybe you want to make a large purchase or you’re buying a home and plan to use your card more frequently.
4. Consider refinancing your mortgage
If you took out your mortgage loan a few years before your credit score moved into the excellent range, refinancing could save you tens of thousands of dollars. Better credit typically helps you receive a lower interest rate, so refinancing at a lower interest rate, especially for a shorter loan term, can help pay off your home faster and save thousands of dollars in interest.
5. Revisit auto insurance rates
Many auto insurers use credit-based insurance scores to determine whether the insured is entitled to a discount based on a good credit history. Give your agent a call to find out if you can get a lower premium based on your good credit.
Find out: How to Save Money on Car Insurance
6. Don’t close credit card accounts
Even if you haven’t used a particular credit card for a year or two, keeping the card open with a zero balance contributes to keeping your credit utilization score low and your credit score high. Also, if you close a card that still has a balance, your credit line disappears, which means you’ll have a 100% credit utilization rate on that card, which would raise your overall credit utilization ratio.
7. Buy a new vehicle at 0% interest
Have you ever applied for 0% financing on a new car only to be turned down and offered less desirable terms? Well, those days could be over now if you have an excellent credit score and a well-paying, steady job.
With some dealerships, you may even have a choice between 0% financing or thousands of dollars cash back on a new vehicle.
8. Monitor your credit regularly
Now that you’ve achieved a credit score to be proud of, the last thing you need is for some identity thief to come along and create a bunch of problems you’ll have to clean up later. It’s easy to keep an eye on your credit report, especially with free credit report services such as Credit Karma.
You can also subscribe to a paid credit monitoring service or monitor your own credit by requesting a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Image Credit: Depositphotos.com