The Quest for the Perfect Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of what’s in your credit history file. It’s supposed to represent how credit worthy you are. Why should you care? Well, lenders use your credit score as a factor when considering you. So, it’s not a stretch to assume that you would want to raise your credit score if you want to access credit in the future. But should you aim for perfection? What is the perfect credit score? Let’s take a look.

  • A perfect FICO credit score would be 850 since their range is from 300-850.
  • And VantageScore (the score developed by the 3 bureaus) ranges from 501-990, giving you the ability to score a 990 at the top.

To find what your score is on each of these scoring services, visit their website and pay a small fee to get your score (yes, it stinks that you have to pay for your score). However, you can sign up for various credit file monitoring services on a free trial and get your free credit score. You just need to remember to cancel your service.

Get peace of mind. Check all three of your bureau credit scores. Use this free trial to see your free credit score online right now.

But are these perfect scores even possible? A perfect score is possible. Apparently about 1% of the population have a perfect 850 on the FICO scale. Getting there takes years of positive credit history (up to 30 years), and a diverse mix of revolving and installment credit.

Should You Care About a Perfect Credit Score?

With a credit score, there is perfection, and then there is good enough. Good enough meaning, good enough to get the best rates. After all, that’s what you are after right? The best interest rate when borrowing. FICO sheds some light on this by offering up this table of different interest rates available today on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. You can see the difference in payment and interest over time based on your FICO score.

Perfect Credit Score Doesn't Matter - Home Mortgage Table

So as you can see by this chart, 850 shouldn’t be your goal. Your goal should be to get to the 760 mark.

So how do you get there? You improve your credit score by paying attention to the factors that make up your credit score: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, types of credit, and new credit inquiries. Your takeaway from that should be to always pay on time, keep your credit card balances low or at $0, don’t apply for too much credit, and try and develop a diverse mix of credit use (a car loan and a few credit cards should do the trick).

Do you think a perfect credit score is in your future?

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Last Edited: April 25, 2012 @ 10:36 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

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