There was a period in my life – albeit brief – when I had perfect credit. But a series of factors had to come together to make this possible. And as proud as I was of that 850, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that number pop up when I check my credit score.
That said, chasing perfect credit is something I pretty much refuse to waste energy on. Here are three reasons.
1. My credit rating is high enough to start with
Even though it’s been over a decade since my credit score stayed at 850, it has been at or above 800 for many years. And frankly, that’s enough for me.
A credit score of 800 or higher is considered excellent. With that kind of score, I know I’m in a good position to qualify for most credit card offers. I also know I’m in a good position to get an affordable interest rate on a personal loan if I need it. And recently, when I refinanced my mortgage, I was able to get a very low interest rate on that loan because of my excellent credit.
In fact, based on the current state of my credit score (last time I checked it was around 810), I’m unlikely to see any difference or increase in borrowing options. if I were to raise my rating to 850. And because of that, I’m not motivated to work on improving my score.
2. Getting perfect credit would mean missing out on great credit card offers
Each time you apply for a new credit card, an in-depth investigation is carried out on your credit file. A serious investigation will usually result in a five to 10 point drop in your credit score. It’s not really a big deal, especially when you have solid credit to start with. But if you want perfect credit, you basically have to commit to not applying for new credit cards for up to two years at a time, because a serious inquiry can stay on your credit report for that long.
Now, as a general rule, I try not to go overboard when applying for credit cards. But if I see a great deal on my radar, I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to land a generous sign-up bonus or rewards program because I’m trying to get perfect credit.
3. It’s really hard to do
Sometimes just paying off a loan when you’re supposed to can lower your credit score a bit. You’d think that wouldn’t be the case, because if you’re paying off your car or your house, that means you’re borrowing less. But losing that long-standing loan could impact the length of your credit history, which is an important factor in calculating your score.
However, I can get to the point where I’m done paying for my house, for example. Paying off that mortgage could cause my credit rating to plummet, but I’m not going to shy away from that route for fear of losing perfect credit. I’d rather resign myself to not having perfect credit in the first place.
If you have a perfect credit rating, that is definitely something to be proud of. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up if your score is great but not perfect. If your score is really great, chances are you’ll gain little or nothing by hitting that elusive 850.
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