Credit Score

This Guy Put Out a Press Release About Getting a Perfect Credit Score

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Normally I’d be happy for someone who has reached the goal of improving his or her credit score. But issuing a press release about your “perfect and genuine FICO 850 score” is a little ridiculous. I’m sorry, David Howe, CEO of SubscriberWise, but you leave me no choice — I’m going to have to make fun of you for a minute.

The news release, accompanied with a screenshot of the credit score Wise gets for free with his Discover account, is supposed to “motivate, inspire, and educate others; it is not to brag.”

People should certainly aspire to the best credit standing they can maintain, but perfection shouldn’t be the goal. Howe actually proves my point in the opening of the release:

“Estimates are less than 1 percent of the adult credit consuming population have a genuine perfect score.” I’m not sure what constitutes a “genuine perfect score,” but very few people have it, meaning it’s extremely difficult to reach. Congratulations for finding yourself among the credit 1%, Mr. Howe.

I hate to burst your bubble (kidding — I’m quite pleased to be bubble bursting today), but there’s no advantage to reaching the Golden 850. An 850 is practically the same as an 813 or an 807 to lenders in that you will get the best interest rates available only to what the industry calls “superprime” consumers. I repeat: Perfection DOES NOT matter. The reason? Perfection is only temporary.

Your score fluctuates constantly, so you shouldn’t let your quest for perfection paralyze your financial decisions. At some point, you may need to put a little more money on the credit cards. You may need to apply for a loan in the future. Little things boost and depress everybody’s scores over time, so you need to focus more on maintaining good habits like keeping your debt low, making payments on time and applying for credit sparingly.

Yes, you should work hard to improve your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com, plus get a personalized action plan with tips on how to build good credit.

But I sincerely hope people with excellent credit aren’t driving themselves nuts over a pointless goal, as Howe indicates they do:

“I intend to reveal virtually every detail of credit data to satisfy both the interest and curiosity of other obsessed-individuals around this country and around the world who also lose sleep over the perfect FICO 850 score,” he said.

I’m here to tell you to get some sleep, people. It’s not worth it.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to Credit.com and does not necessarily represent the views of the company or its affiliates.

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  • Christine DiGangi

    Hi, there.

    You’re right: Credit scores are extremely important. I write about that every day, and just like you, I encourage people to learn about what determines their credit standing and make serious efforts to improve it.

    But based on credit scores alone, a consumer with an 810 FICO Score will have no more trouble than you, with a perfect 850, will have renting a car, obtaining a job or getting an apartment. (In fact, employers can only check credit reports, not scores, and they must have a consumer’s permission to look at the report.)

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