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Pursuing the Perfect Credit Score

Posted on January 27, 2012

There are several news stories this week pertaining to a consumer’s quest to achieve the best credit score. Currently, lenders have set their standards for good credit scores around 730. Those that hold a score of 730 or higher are assured in getting the best options when it comes to financing a loan, obtaining car insurance, or other financial services.

While it is good news that consumers are taking a more proactive interest in their credit scores, the quest to achieve a score of 800 or more may not be as achievable as one would think. Personal finance experts are now saying that once a consumer has achieved a FICO score of 760, efforts to increase that score any higher may be ‘futile’.

Once a 760 score is achieved, consumers are not likely to find any better interest rates or financial service offers that are better than that. However, some consumers are not to be swayed. They continue their quest to achieve an 800 or better for their credit profile despite the difficulty in increasing scores after they hit 760.

FICO scores, which are the most common ones used by lenders in decision-making are calculated based on a model created by the Fair Isaac Corporation, a company based in Minneapolis. The scoring model ranges from 300 to 850 and is used by lenders to make creditworthiness determinations. FICO is not the only credit scoring system but it is the most popular among lenders and financial service providers.

In 2011, only about 18% of the 200 million American consumers with scores had achieved credit scores of 800 or higher. That percentage comes out to around 36 million consumers. 75 million Americans had been shown to achieve scores of 750. Overall, the median score in the US stands at 711.

Credit scores can be maintained and improved by consumers staying focused on their financial life. Paying bills on time, not overextending, eliminating debts, and using debt responsibly are all ways to keep a top-notch score. It is also important for consumers to keep up with their credit reports and ensure there are no errors which negatively affect their profile.

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