Are you trying to crack the code to getting a perfect credit score of 850?

There are a lot of actions Americans can take to improve their credit score such as making payments on time, keeping credit balances under 30% of the limit and taking out a range of credit types. But while this will improve your credit, how do you get it perfect?

Of the 200 million Americans with FICO scores, about 3 million, or 1.4%, have perfect 850 scores. FICO credit scores can range from a low of 300 to 850.

Credit scores are one of the many factors that go into getting Americans approved for a mortgage, or determine the type mortgage and interest rates consumers are eligible for. And now, an increasing number of Americans are seeing credit scores above 800, according to an article by Suzanne Woolley for Bloomberg.

From the article:

This year, the average national FICO number is 700, just above where it stood in October 2006, before the run-up to our most recent financial collapse. The ranks of “super-prime” consumers—those with scores of 800 and up—have steadily increased since 2010, and now number over 41 million, more than consumers with scores of 600 or below.

So how do American achieve these perfect scores? Here’s a few tips:

Mess up your credit: I know, it might sound off, or even ridiculous, but messing up your credit, while not doing you any favors in the short-term, could help you achieve that perfect score in the long run. The Bloomberg article explained that one consumer hurt their credit by applying for a multitude of credit cards. In the long run, however, these cards all worked to create a longer average credit history.

Pay down credit balance: While keeping card balances below 30% is recommended for a good credit score, one consumer reported keeping his balance below 5% to obtain his perfect score, the Bloomberg article states. In order to keep this low balance, Americans may even need to make payments to their card more than once a month.

Don’t apply for new credit: One factor several consumers have in common is their pattern when it comes to applying for new credit. Many of them applied for several lines of credit at the beginning of their journey, which pulled their credit down initially, but gave it a boost later on when it boosted their average credit age. However, once they began to rebuild their credit, those with a perfect credit score didn’t apply for a new credit line, and instead applied to increase their credit limit when they needed a boost.

While all of these things could help Americans achieve a perfect credit score, one key question is: Is it worth it? Are perfect scores worth the time put in trying to achieve them? According to one expert – they’re not.

The Bloomberg article explains there is no incremental value to having a perfect score over a high score such as 760 or 780. The one exception? Mortgages.

From the article:

Credit card expert Jason Steele contends that a stellar credit score did help him obtain an “ultra-low rate” of 2.875% on a 5-year adjustable rate mortgage.

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