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Far From Perfect Credit Score Still Gets You Best Rates

February 12th, 2016 · No Comments · Credit Scores

by Credit Info Center

Credit Score of 760

If a perfect credit score seems out of reach, you’re right. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it’s extremely hard to get and even harder to keep. The good news is, you don’t need it. You can get the same great rates with a far from perfect credit score. Granted, it takes the same good credit management, but minus the achievement of an unrealistic number.

What’s a Perfect Credit Score?

It depends on which scoring model you’re talking about. If it’s the FICO score or VantageScore, 850 is the highest number you can reach. But other models use different scoring ranges.

So even if you did manage to reach a perfect credit score with one model, it almost certainly wouldn’t be perfect on another. Plus, credit scores change all the time. If you check it today you may see a different number than if you checked it tomorrow.

Thankfully, it’s not worth obsessing over the achievement of a perfect score, or anywhere close to that.

What You Need Instead

All you need to get the best deal on interest rates is an Excellent credit rating. If we’re talking about FICO, that’s a credit score starting at 760, which is a whopping 90 points shy of the perfect credit score.

What’s important to understand, though, is that achieving a score of 760 requires the same kind of behavior as someone who manages to reach 850.

You need to:

  • Pay your bills on time, every time
  • Bring your credit cards down to a zero balance every month
  • Keep your credit utilization ratio at or below 30 percent
  • Avoid excessive applications for credit (i.e., hard inquiries) unless you have a very good reason for it, like shopping around for a mortgage
  • Monitor your credit reports regularly for errors or fraud

In other words, instead of aiming for a perfect credit score, aim instead for perfect credit management. Get more details and helpful links in our Credit Management Cheat Sheet.

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