3 Reasons I Don't Care About Having a Perfect Credit Score

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  • A credit score of 850 is considered perfect.
  • I stopped chasing that number long ago for these key reasons.

Perfect credit is possible to attain. But it's not a goal of mine.

There was a period in my life -- albeit a brief one -- when I actually had a perfect credit score. But a series of factors had to come together to make that possible. And as proud as I was of that 850, it's been a long time since I've seen that number pop up when I look up my credit score.

That said, going after perfect credit is something I pretty much refuse to waste energy on. Here are three reasons why.

1. My credit score is pretty high to begin with

Although it's been more than a decade since my credit score sat at an 850, it's been at or above 800 for many years. And frankly, that's good enough for me.

A credit score of 800 or higher is considered excellent. With that sort of score, I know I'm in a good position to qualify for most credit card offers. I also know I'm in a great spot to snag an affordable interest rate on a personal loan should I need one. And recently, when I refinanced my mortgage, I was able to lock in a very low interest rate on that loan due to my great credit.

In fact, based on where my credit score is at now (last I checked, it was around 810), I'm unlikely to see a difference or increase in borrowing options if I were to get my score up to an 850. And because of that, I'm not motivated to work on boosting my score.

2. Achieving perfect credit would mean missing out on great credit card offers

Any time you apply for a new credit card, a hard inquiry is made on your credit record. A hard inquiry will usually result in a five- to 10-point drop in your credit score. That's not really a big deal, especially when you have strong credit to begin with. But if you want perfect credit, you basically need to commit to not applying for new credit cards for up to two years at a time, since a hard inquiry can stay on your credit report for that long.

Now as a general rule, I try not to go overboard when applying for credit cards. But if I see a great offer hit my radar, I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to snag a generous sign-up bonus or rewards program because I'm trying to attain perfect credit.

3. It's really hard to do

Sometimes, the simple act of paying off a loan when you're supposed to can cause your credit score to drop a little. You'd think that wouldn't be the case, because if you pay off your car or home, it means you're now borrowing less. But losing that long-standing loan could impact the length of your credit history, which is an important factor in calculating your score.

However, I may reach the point where I'm done paying off my home, for example. Paying off that mortgage could cause my credit score to drop, but I'm not going to avoid that route for fear of losing out on perfect credit. I'd rather just resign myself to not having perfect credit in the first place.

If you have a perfect credit score, that's definitely something to be proud of. At the same time, don't beat yourself up if your score is great but not perfect. Chances are, if your score is in really excellent shape, you stand to gain little to nothing by achieving that elusive 850.

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