THE HIGHEST CREDIT SCORE POSSIBLE: SHOULD YOU TRY FOR IT?
If you’re like most people, you have less-than-perfect credit. It’s easy to miss a payment, have recently opened lines of credit, and more. The goal here is to steadily increase your score with time. However, as you start seeing that FICO number rise, you may want to consider having the highest credit score possible. You may wonder if it is worth it and what that number is.
What Is the Highest Credit Score Possible?
Primarily, FICO and VantageScore are the primary credit-scoring models. Both of these options feature the lowest score to be 300 with the highest being 850. However, even with responsible habits, don’t be surprised that your score isn’t anywhere near that 850 mark.
Perfect credit can seem out of reach, and for most people, it is. The average FICO score for almost 200 million consumers is 704. As of April 2018, just one percent of all Americans had perfect scores using the FICO model.
Why Your Range Matters
For most people, it is good that they don’t have to get a perfect credit score to qualify for the best rates on mortgages and loans. Typically, scores in the 700s will get you some excellent interest rates. However, if you want the best options, a score of 760 is all you need.
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Most credit card companies and banks don’t care as much about the specific credit report number. Instead, they focus on the range where those scores call. The FICO band has poor credit anywhere from 300 to 579, while fair credit is 580-669. Good credit starts at 670 and goes to 739 while very good scores are between 740-799. Anything 800 or above is considered excellent.
Asking yourself, ‘what is the highest credit score possible?’ is important, so you know. However, having the highest score won’t do much for getting better rates. Anything over 800 will give you the most favorable terms. If you raise your score from 740 to about 790, it won’t do much for you because you still fall into the very good category. However, if you go from a 650 (fair) to 700 (good), that might mean that you can get better terms and rates.
Factors to Consider for the Highest Credit Score Possible
Though the FICO and VantageScore models have differences, they do point out that some factors are more important than others. For example, payment history is one of the most important factors while having a mix of credit items in your portfolio is the least.
Do You Need a High Score?
Primarily, people want to focus on achieving an excellent score, but they don’t need to have the highest credit score possible. If you’d like to raise your scores, it is essential that you pay your bills on time. This is the most important factor listed by both scoring models. When you can, set up automatic payments for as many accounts as you can so that you don’t forget to pay them. Just make sure that you have the funds available.
Along with such, you really need to get your credit report from the three major reporting bureaus. Even if you haven’t missed a payment, there might be negative marks listed here, and some of them could be errors. If you find anything incorrect, you can dispute it. The reporting company must investigate the situation and fix mistakes.
Limit Hard Inquiries
Applying for credit of any sort generates a hard inquiry, which shows as a negative mark on your report. Sometimes, lenders look at applying for new loans as a sign that someone is dealing with a financial issue. While the inquiry is only a slight negative, if you’re trying to reach the highest credit score possible, you don’t want this to lower your number even a little. Though that 850 isn’t going to get you any perks, it is a cool bonus, and you can brag about it.
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