- 11 Sep
Perfect Credit Score Increasingly Attained by More Americans
Around 200 million consumers in the United States have a FICO credit score, a number which determines an individual’s risk in borrowing, and can influence whether or not you are able to get certain kinds of credit cards and loans, as well as your overall interest rate when receiving credit. While many consumers have these kinds of scores, and most individuals pay little attention to their number, some have seen the opportunity to attain a perfect score. The perfect score for FICO is 850, with other credit monitoring services using different metrics. FICO estimates that, out of the 200 million, approximately 3 million have perfect 850s, equaling around 1.4 percent.
However, while the number of consumers with a perfect score is still relatively low, those with higher credit scores are steadily increasing. With the range of scores being between 300-850, the average FICO number is currently around 700, generally considered to be a good score. As well, the number of consumers with scores above 800 have continually increased since 2010, and is now greater than those with a score of less than 600.
Economists attribute this to the overall security of average finances in America, which have been relatively stable following the 2008 crash. As well, the number of consumers who are aware of their individual credit score is increasing, with a variety of services offering a way to view your score for low- or no- cost. This allows up-to-date buyers to maintain and adjust their score.
These increasing credit scores make some uneasy, though, as economists wonder if smarter buyers are gaming the system in an attempt to lower their rates and obtain better credit rewards programs. FICO says that they currently don’t see any evidence of “score gaming,” and view consumers seeking high scores as a natural competitive eventuality. Buyers striving for a perfect 850 is the same as wanting to win at any other part of life, and has been ingrained in Western culture through grades, tests, and natural competition at work.
This culture, when applied to a personal number such as a credit score, can pay off through lower rates and better opportunities. However, FICO states, a perfect credit score may not necessarily be needed. A score of 750 may be just as good as 850, and taking on more debt or seeking out ways to increase your credit score can lead some to end up in over their heads in debt or unnecessary purchases.
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