A Perfect Credit Score: Is it Attainable?

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If you’re the type of person who strives to achieve perfection in everything that you do, you may be wondering if it’s possible to attain (and maintain) the highest FICO credit score possible: 850.

Perhaps an even better question would be: Is it necessary? Most financial advisors and credit counseling attorneys in NJ say no, you do not need a perfect credit score. However, they most definitely wouldn’t try to talk you out of trying, if a perfect score is what you really desire. After all, it could be kind of fun to see just how high you could get – right?

While anyone with a score above 760 is going to be eligible for the best rates, some people get a thrill out of watching the causal relationship between their good financial decisions and a rising score. It’s kind of like a reward for good behavior!

What Can I Do To Get a Perfect Score?

If you want to take the Credit Score Challenge – there are a few simple rules to follow in order to get where you want to be.

  1. Keep a close eye on your overall credit utilization. In plain English – keep your credit card balances under 30% of your TOTAL credit availability. Using more of your available credit makes it seem like you rely too much on credit cards rather than cash. Each time your credit utilization percentage goes above 30%, your score will take a hit.
  2. Pay all of your bills in full and on time. This includes your credit card bills, but also all of your other monthly expenses – from your rent or mortgage to your water bill. Keep current and timely, because the alternative will get marked on your credit score and will bring your score down a few points each time you’re late.
  3. Don’t open new lines of credit unless absolutely necessary. Every time you apply for a new credit card, or a new loan, the lender will request a copy of your credit score. This type of request is known as a ‘hard inquiry,’ and the reason they’ll knock your score down is because applying to borrow money implies that you’re in financial trouble. Each time a lender does a hard inquiry, imagine a little “Ping!” going off at the FICO office. It’s a little alert to them that you may be struggling.
  4. Check your credit report often. Doing so yourself will not affect your score at all, so feel free to check it every day if you want to! The main reason you should keep an eye on your credit report as well as your score, is to make sure that you’re doing things right. If you’re not, you’ll only know about it if you check your score! It’s also a good idea to be vigilant about looking for any errors on your report. It happens all too often, and if there is misinformation on your credit report, having it removed will boost your score right away.

Honestly, credit score researchers say they rarely see a perfect credit score – and most say the highest they’ve seen is around 845-847. Even if you manage to get your score into the upper levels, the most difficult part may be keeping it there. In that range, even the tiniest misstep will negatively affect your score much more so than for those with a moderate score, because their mistakes have already been accounted for.

Whether you’re interested in achieving the perfect credit score, or simply improving upon your current number, you can always seek out the help of a professional in the credit repair field. Avoid credit repair agencies if they promise you “a completely new credit history” or a dramatically increased score on the spot. These things are impossible to achieve and anyone who promises them is using illegal tactics.

If you’d like free legal advice on how to raise your credit score the right way, and how your score affects all of your financial decisions, come out to the Manalapan Township Library in Monmouth County on March 11, 2015 at 7pm. Veitengruber Law will give an informal, hands-on, FREE workshop that will teach you short term and long term ways to raise your credit score, how to more effectively manage your money, and how to set up a budget that works.

 

Image Credit: Bruce Berrien

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3 Responses to A Perfect Credit Score: Is it Attainable?

  1. Pingback: Will Co-signing a Loan Affect My Credit Score? | Veitengruber Law

  2. Pingback: 10 Surprising Ways You Could be Destroying Your Credit | Veitengruber Law

  3. Pingback: How to Buy a Home With a Low Credit Score | Veitengruber Law

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