For MOST people, ideally never. If you get much above 760, you're wasting potential sign-up bonuses with no reward. You need about 740 for the best interest rates on most loans, give yourself some safety, but not too much. Maintain your FICO around 750-760 for best results. If it goes higher, app for a credit card that gets you a nice sign-up bonus
+1 Agreed. I have been twittling my thumbs for a little while sitting on an 800+ score. And for what? Great sign ups galore and I'm not grabbing any. I'm getting ready for a little app spree myself:
On my radar: CSP, Freedom, maybe Marriot (70,000 points!) and then Amex everyday to offset some account age. Not suire if that's a little overzealous. even with an 800+ score. I'm going to be doing an SBA loan and a mortgage for rental home purchase soon. That's a lot of apps in a short time but I don't see 4 card apps (1 backdated with Amex) temporarily knocking my score down more than 30-40 points.
As for the OP. I hit it in about 2 1/2 years. I had lots of good accounts and more than a few baddies when I
started. I got all but 2 of them removed and one has since fallen off and the other is old and minimal. My wife has perfect credit made me an AU on hert oldest card (big boost in the beginning). I then apped for cards in phases, always carry extremely low utlilization and have watched my scores keep rising.
I actually temporarily lost some ground toward 800 when my oldest account fell off after 20 years. It was foolishly closed back in college. I was already lucky to have it stay that long. Moreover, with a few fewer card apps at certain times, I probably would have hit 800 even sooner but then fallen back down with some new cards after that. But for what? I wanted the cards sooner or later so I have no regrets. 800+ has little use except to be a parachute for app sprees to stay in the mid upper 700s.
Get a strong AU or two if you can. Always a big help. Plan ahead. bunch up good no-fee some long term cards (amex too. very important!) and keep them open. That;s the back bone of a strong, robust file with an old AAoA over time.