A perfect credit score of 850 is possible, but it probably doesn’t matter
the Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident, which provides market research to individual investors and financial professionals, achieved her perfect credit score three months ago, up from 841 the previous months and 832 a year ago.
It was no small feat. Of the 200 million Americans who have FICO credit scores – the most commonly used credit scoring model – only about 1.4% have a perfect 850, Bloomberg reported.
Alden points out his long credit history, no missed payments and very low credit usage for his 850 rating. “I don’t open new accounts too frequently to get credit card rewards and have been successful repaid many student loans, “she added.
But what exactly is the winning formula for a perfect credit score? If there is one, no one, except maybe credit rating analysts, really knows. There are a multitude of factors that affect scores, and they can change depending on your specific situation. In addition, FICO keeps its scoring model largely secret.
Even so, we know the basic factors that influence credit scores. So if you are looking for the elusive 850, you have to crush it in all categories.
5 Important Credit Score Factors
The most important part of your credit score is your payment history, which accounts for 35%. A solid track record of always paying your bills on time will go a long way towards achieving a perfect score, while a single missed payment can mess things up a lot.
The effect of a late payment on your credit score depends on how severe it was, when it happened and how often you are late paying, according to the credit reporting agency. Equifax. As a general rule, however, the later the payment, the worse your score.
Your current credit situation also plays a role. For example, if a person with a FICO score of 780 and no history of late payments became 30 days late on a payment, they could experience a drop of 90 to 110 points. However, if that person’s current score was 680 and they had missed a few payments in the past, they could expect to lose just 60-80 points after another 30-day late payment.
The second most weighted credit score factor is the amount of debt you owe relative to the total amount of credit you have. This is also known as your use of credit. The more you use your available credit, the more risk you present to lenders as it may seem like you are relying too much on credit to get by.
While there is no perfect credit utilization ratio, most experts agree that keeping it below 30% is a good guideline. But the less you use, the better. Those with a credit score of 800 use about 7% of their available credit, on average. Installment loans, such as auto loans, student loans, and mortgages, also tend to be less weighted than revolving credit, such as credit cards.
Length of credit history (15%)
The length of time you use credit is also important to your score. Creditors like to see that you have a habit of borrowing money responsibly, so that longer credit history is viewed more favorably.
But it’s not just how long you’ve been using credit in general that matters. According to FICO, your credit score takes into account the age of your oldest account, the age of your new account and the average age of all your accounts, as well as the length of time certain accounts have been in existence and the time since you used them. So, for example, even if you got your first credit card 20 years ago, opening a new one might lower your score a bit as it lowers your average credit age.
Along with a long and positive credit history, your score is also improved by using a diverse mix of account types. For example, someone who has never used only credit cards will be at a disadvantage compared to someone who has also paid off a car loan and has a mortgage.
FICO remarks that you don’t need to have one of each type of account, especially if it means borrowing money that you don’t need. What’s more important is having a mix of revolving credit and installment credit. The correct number of accounts to have depends on your personal situation.
People who open multiple accounts in a short period of time pose a higher risk to lenders, especially if their credit history is shorter. So, applying for new credit too often can be a red flag that you are in financial trouble and will be reflected in around 10% of your total credit score.
This goes for requests that are rejected, not just accounts for which you are approved. A credit check takes place whenever a lender or other entity pulls a copy of your credit report for review. These claims remain to your credit for two years and may determine your score. However, FICO only considers requests from the last 12 months. In addition, check your your own credit does not count against you.
How long does it take to get a credit score of 850?
According to Logan Allec, a certified public accountant who runs the personal finance site, the # 1 factor that separates people with a score of 850 from those in the top 700 or bottom 800 is usually the length of their track record. credit. Money is well made.
“So even though, for all intents and purposes, you’re doing everything perfectly fine in terms of credit … the fact that you just haven’t had a credit history long enough could keep you from reaching the elusive 850 “said Allec.
There is no hard evidence as to exactly how long a credit history is long enough to achieve a credit score of 850. A 2011 study by SubscriberWise, a company that provides risk management services to a major credit reporting agency, found that among the quarter million credit reports in its national database of U.S. member operators, the shortest duration credit history for those who scored 850 was 17 years. The average duration was 30 years. So, if you’re hoping for a credit score of 850, patience is the key.
Why you don’t need a perfect credit score
While it’s certainly possible to reach a score of 850, it’s nothing more than a vanity number, Alden said. “Anything over 800 is just a bonus and likely won’t result in better loan rates or other perks. This is because most lenders consider that everything is over. about 780 to 800 to be “excellent”, so any score above 800 places you comfortably in the first place.
“That being said, even a high score of 800+ can sometimes not qualify you for the best rates,” Alden said. For example, let’s say you’ve never had an auto loan. Even with a score of 800 or higher, you might only receive the second best loan rate on an auto loan because you have no history. It all depends on the individual lender, and your credit score is only a part of your overall financial situation that is assessed when you apply to borrow money.
But if you’re motivated to go for a brag-worthy 850, there’s no harm in giving it a try. “Just know that you might be waiting for a while,” Allec said.