Is A Perfect Credit Score of 850 Even Possible?

A perfect credit score of 850 is technically possible, according to FICO spokesperson, Craig Watts but may not be possible for anyone.

Marketplace took a look at this issue last year and got the definitive answer from FICO.

Craig Watts: In rare circumstances it is possible to get a FICO score of 850.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad:

Watts: For a broad section of the population, it probably isn’t possible, even if they do everything right.

That’s because there’s not one formula for calculating your FICO score. There are ten. Each is a “scorecard,” that gives different items in your credit history slightly different weight. Your scorecard depends on where you are in your economic life.

Watts: For example, if you are college student, you’re brand new to credit. The FICO formula is only comparing you to other people who also have very short credit histories.

There’s a scorecard for people who’ve been through, say, bankruptcy — they may be printing extras of those these days. But here’s the point: every scorecard has its own score range. If your scorecard’s top range isn’t 850? You can’t get an 850, period. Now, what scorecard applies to you, or when you’ll move out of one and into another? That’s a secret. All Watts would tell me is how to get the best score possible.

Watts: Pay everybody on time, keep your account balances low on credit cards, take on new credit obligations sparingly, and then continue managing credit for a long time. Typically people who score in the mid-800s have been managing credit for at least a couple of decades.

Gagliano: So, be a financial rock star, and become old.

Watts: Yeah, be the Mick Jagger of the credit world!

But does a perfect score even matter? Looks like… not really. If you’re over 800, you’re probably getting the best possible deals.

Mint.com has an exhaustive article about perfecting your credit to achieve the highest possible “elite” score: anything over 800.

According to the article, once you achieve the 800s, a world of low interest rate mortgages and whatnot opens up before you. The good news? Even if you didn’t always have perfect credit, if you change your behavior your score will change too. So why not start now?

Can You Increase Your Credit Score to 850? [Mint]
In search of the perfect score [Marketplace]