What a Near-Perfect FICO Score Looks Like and How You Can Get It Too
Does a perfect FICO score exist? No one has even seen one, if it is even possible to attain. But, we found someone who is extremely close to it.Nancy, 39, does not carry the Black Card from American Express. Nor does she have a seven-figure-income. She does, however, have a near-perfect FICO credit score of 847 (Experian), which is three points from the perfect score of 850.
(Previously, Nancy shared her very high FICO 9 Bankcard score with us and decided to check to actual FICO score as well.)
For some Americans, their FICO credit scores are more than just a metric on which their credit risk is based. For these people, credit scores are a status symbol -- a number that represents their financial prowess. Although Nancy didn’t make it a goal of achieving such an exceptional credit score, her relationship with credit exhibits extremely responsible behavior that warrants her near-perfect FICO score.
Given that many Americans are looking to boost their credit scores, whether to increase their chances of qualifying for a loan or getting lower borrowing rates, we looked at the factors that may have played a role in Nancy’s amazing FICO score so that you could try to get a high FICO score yourself.
The table below highlights the aspects of Nancy’s credit profile that were “very good” compared to other FICO “High Achievers,” according to her FICO score report based on her Experian credit report:
|Factor||Nancy||FICO High Achievers (on average)|
|Number of accounts with a missed payment||0 accounts||0 accounts|
|Ratio of revolving balances to credit limits||1%||Less than 6%|
|Oldest account was opened||18 years, 2 months ago||25 years ago|
|Average age of accounts||7 years||11 years or more|
|Number of accounts carrying a balance||7 accounts||3 accounts|
Nancy has 16 active credit lines -- 13 credit cards, two student loans and one auto loan. Her combined credit limit is more than $140,000, but her total outstanding debt is just a little over $13,000.
Get a near-perfect FICO score yourself
The Fair Isaac Corp. doesn't reveal the credit-scoring formula to the public (there are actually many versions of a FICO score). Although the company offers a relative breakdown of what makes up a FICO score, real-life examples of a good credit score paints a better picture of what is needed to get that score.
For those who are trying to score as high as Nancy, aiming for a credit profile similar to her’s would be a good start.
Keeping low balances and not missing payments are key to a great FICO score. Furthermore, Nancy says that she would ask for or automatically receive credit line increases occasionally, which helps to lower her debt utilization ratio.
Paying down your debt and increasing your credit limits are thing you can do today, but some things cannot be rushed.
When it comes to improving age of accounts, only time will help. Advice from financial pundits to refrain from closing a credit card account make sense here. But, if a credit card is tempting you to spend and rack up debt, it is a good idea to close it. Nancy has closed many credit cards before and she was still able to get a great FICO score.
She has a nice mix of loans and has no public records or collections, which contribute to a high score.
If you also have an incredibly high FICO score like Nancy, please let us know what it is and how you got it in the comments.