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Ask Creditnet: Is an 800+ Credit Score Worth the Extra Effort?

Dear Creditnet: I already have pretty good credit scores in the 790's, but it kind of bothers me that I can't seem to break the 800 mark. I've tried for years and I just seem to be stuck where I am. Is it really worth the extra effort to try and raise my credit scores above 800? - Megan from TN

Answer: Let me first congratulate you on maintainig great credit scores! And while I can certainly understand your desire to break into the coveted "800 club" after years of closely tracking your scores, I frankly wouldn't recommend worrying about it one day longer. If it happens in the future, that's great, but I don't think pursuing the 800 club is worth any extra effort unless credit-score bragging rights alone are extremely important to you.

Credit scores in the 790's are more than "pretty good", they're excellent! I should also make it clear that I'm assuming you're referring to your FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) scores here, which are on a scale of 300-850 and are the only credit scores that really matter. If you're not, forget about the other "FAKO" credit scores out there and focus on your FICO scores instead.

These are the scores that the vast majority of lenders will actually use to assess your credit risk when you apply for a credit product. The truth is that once you have FICO scores above about 770, there's really not much of an incentive to get them any higher. With FICO scores in the high 700s you should be able to get approved for virtually any rewards credit card you want, and you'll also be able to secure the best rates and terms on any type of loan. A score of 805 vs. 790 isn't going to land you a better rate on a mortgage or an auto loan, so why obsess over it?

You're clearly making wise decisions regarding your credit already, so I recommend just continuing to do exactly what you're doing. As time passes and your credit history lengthens, that might be all you need to break into the 800 club without any additional effort on your part. Good luck!

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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