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Beyond Good Credit: What Is a Tier 1 Credit Score?

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7 min read.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to achieve a near-perfect credit score and enjoy the most favorable loan terms and rates? Let's find out what is a Tier 1 credit score.

Lenders often employ different scoring models to calculate your credit score range, which can lead to variations in the final assessment. While these models all take into account the main credit factors, it's common for individuals to have slightly different credit scores across various credit card companies for example, despite sharing common traits of financial responsibility.

In this blog post, we take you through the ins and outs of getting an excellent credit score, the factors that affect your credit tier, and the steps you can take to soar to the top of the credit hierarchy.

Short Summary

  • Tier 1 status is the highest level of creditworthiness, typically ranging from 750 to 850.

  • Factors affecting credit score tier levels include good credit history, payment behavior, and low utilization ratio.

  • Benefits of achieving a Tier One Credit Score include lower interest rates on loans and increased financing options for mortgages & auto loans.

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Defining Tier 1 Credit Score

A person looking at their report with different credit score from the three major credit bureaus

A Tier 1 credit score is the pinnacle of creditworthiness. Achieving this status means you have good credit scores, typically in the range of 750 to 850, which qualifies you for the most advantageous loan terms. This is usually used by auto lenders.

A good credit score is a prerequisite for achieving this credit status. Credit tiers play a significant role in risk-based pricing, a method lenders use to determine the rates and terms they offer to borrowers based on criteria such as your average credit score ranges, current debts, and income.

Stay on top of your credit score with Credit Sesame. Get your free credit report, credit card offers, and tools, all in one place. 


Different credit scoring models may be used by lenders to determine credit tiers. The typical FICO score range for the A+ credit tier, which is often considered to be Tier 1, is 750 - 850. While different credit tiers exist, the highest one offers the most favorable terms and lowest interest rates, making it a sought-after achievement for borrowers.

So, what factors contribute to your credit tier, and how can you work towards achieving a Tier 1 credit score? Let’s dive into the main factors that impact your results and see how you can optimize them to reach a higher status.

Factors Affecting Your Credit Report

A person looking at the interest rate from auto lenders

Your journey to Tier 1 credit starts with understanding the factors that influence your credit tier. Three key elements play a critical role in determining your credit tier: credit history, payment behavior, and credit utilization ratio.

Optimize these to improve your credit file and climb up the ratings ladder.

Credit History

Your credit history is a record of your borrowing and repayment activities, including the types of credit accounts held, the amount of capital utilized, and your payment history. A longer and more varied history on your credit accounts is often associated with higher credit tiers, as lenders consider a substantial report with no major lapses as an indication of responsible credit behavior in the future.

In this context, it’s essential to regularly review your credit report to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Having extensive and varied credit reporting can help you qualify for longer repayment periods and lower rates on loans and credit cards.

pay yourself first

Payment Behavior

Payment behavior refers to your approach to paying bills, including timely monthly payments and avoiding delinquency. Avoiding late or missed payments is crucial for maintaining a favorable credit score and moving towards a higher credit tier.

Missed payments can have a significant adverse effect on your credit score, so it’s essential to prioritize paying your bills on time. Having an emergency fund will help you have money to settle unexpected bills.

Credit Utilization Ratio

A visual representation of credit card companies looking for new credit inquiries

Your credit utilization ratio is an indicator of how much credit you have used. It is calculated by dividing your debt balance by the amount of available credit. Maintaining a low ratio, or the percentage of available capital being used, can have a positive influence on your scores and tiers.

This then demonstrates responsible credit management, which can lead to a higher credit score.

Advantages of Tier 1 Credit

A person smiling with excellent credit score, opposite a person with less favorable terms

Achieving a Tier 1 credit score comes with a plethora of benefits that can make your financial life much more comfortable and rewarding. With it, you can qualify for the best rates, increased debt limits, and more favorable financing terms.

The benefits of the highest Tier extend to personal loans and mortgages as well. Borrowers with Tier 1 credit typically enjoy the lowest interest rates, reduced upfront deposits, and longer repayment terms when applying for a loan or credit card accounts.

Steps to Achieve Tier 1 Credit

A person looking at their credit report and making changes not to be on lower credit tiers

To reach Tier-one status, you must monitor your credit reports, maintain low credit card balances, and diversify your credit portfolio.

Monitor Your Credit Reports

Regularly checking your credit reports for inaccuracies and disputing errors is a crucial step.

To dispute inaccuracies on your credit reports, you’ll need to contact the credit bureau and provide evidence of the inaccuracy or enlist the help of a credit repair company.

Credit Sesame representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Their specialists can work on your behalf & provide Credit Dispute Resolution services. Get your free credit report summary.

Maintain Low Credit Card Balances

Keeping your card balances low and paying them off in full each month is another vital step towards achieving a higher credit score. Always work on reducing your debt, make on-time payments, and only open new credit accounts when necessary.

Diversify Your Credit Portfolio

Diversifying your credit portfolio by having a mix of credit types can help improve your credit score. Here are some ways to gain a solid credit mix:

  1. Open a secured credit card and make timely payments.

  2. Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit account.

  3. Have a mix of revolving credit (e.g. credit cards) and installment loans (e.g. auto loans, mortgages). 

Build Credit With Your Everyday Debit Purchases

With Sesame Credit Builder, you could increase your personal credit scores when paying for small things like gas, groceries, or monthly bills. Here's how it works:

  1. Sesame Cash is a prepaid debit card issued by Community Federal Savings Bank (CFSB).

  2. Building credit with Sesame Cash requires you to also open a secured line of credit with CFSB that is reported to the major credit bureaus.

  3. Use money from your Sesame Cash account to create a secured line of credit (Secured Account).

  4. Your debit card purchases are then added up to create a balance on your Secured Account.

  5. As you make these purchases, an amount equal to the balance on your Secured Account is also set aside in your Sesame Cash account to ensure you can make timely payments to pay off the balance on your secured line of credit at the end of each month, allowing you to build a positive reimbursement history.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee a better score. Any predicted improvement from the use of your Secured Account assumes that you will maintain healthy credit habits, including on-time payments, keeping due balances low, avoiding unnecessary credit inquiries, appropriate financial planning, and more. Get started today.

Auto Loan and Tier 1 Credit

A person looking to get a short period auto loan and getting a favorable fico score

Tier 1 is the highest credit rating typically utilized by auto loan lenders to identify borrowers with the best credit. When you achieve Tier One credit, you can qualify for numerous benefits when applying for a car loan, such as lower interest rates, reduced down payments, and longer repayment terms.

These benefits can help you save money on your auto loan and make it more affordable to purchase a vehicle.

Mortgage Loans and Tier 1 Credit

A person looking at their mortgage loan terms and getting the lowest interest rate

Mortgages are contingent on your credit tier. Possessing Tier 1 credit indicates an outstanding credit score, which can increase your likelihood of obtaining approval for a loan with most lenders and accessing the best deal, increased financing options, and potentially reduced down payment requirements.

Better financing options can potentially save thousands of dollars over the life of any personal loan.

Summary of Credit Scores

In conclusion, achieving Tier 1 credit is a worthwhile endeavor that can significantly improve your financial life by offering lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and better terms.

By understanding the factors that affect your credit tier, such as history, payment behavior, and utilization ratio, and taking steps to optimize them, you can work towards reaching the highest level of creditworthiness.

With higher credit scores, you can unlock numerous benefits with different lenders, and other aspects of your financial situation, helping you save money and achieve your monetary goals. Check your score right away and see what’s impacting your credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tier 2 credit score?

A Tier 2 credit score is considered to be the second best, slightly below the top tier of excellent credit scores. It generally ranges from 680-749 and typically carries a few more challenges than the highest credit scores in terms of approving loans and credit cards.

For example, lenders may require more money upfront or higher interest rates for those with a Tier 2 credit score.

What is a Tier 3 credit score?

A Tier 3 credit score is considered to be good and ranges from 600 to 679 on a scale of 300-850.

What is Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 credit?

Tier 1 credit is typically considered excellent and is in the range of 750-850, while Tier 2 credit is considered great and lies between 680-749.

Tier 3 is considered good and is within 600-679.

What is considered a Tier 1 credit score?

A Tier 1 credit score is considered to be the highest level of creditworthiness, typically ranging from 750 to 850.

What factors affect my credit tier?

Your credit tier is largely determined by your credit history, payment behavior, and the percentage of available credit limit you are using.


No Investment Advice. This tier 1 credit score meaning article does not provide financial or legal advice and has been prepared without taking into account any person’s investment objectives, situation, or particular needs.

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