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Why I’ll Probably Never Have Perfect Credit Again, And That’s OK

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It’s a really hard thing to get, and it’s not worth the effort to go after it.

Key points

  • When I was 20 years old, I managed to have a perfect credit score.
  • I don’t see that happening again due to changes in my spending habits, but that’s not a problem either.

When I applied for my first apartment in my 20s, I was surprised, in a good way, to learn that I actually had perfect credit (or so said the representative from the management company that processed and approved my application). These days, however, my credit score isn’t perfect and may never be again. And frankly, I don’t care.

How I got the perfect credit

Back when my credit score was a perfect 850, I had a few things going for me. First of all, I had had bills in my name for several years that I had never been late in paying. I also hadn’t applied for any new credit cards in a long time, and always paid off my (relatively low) credit card balances in full. The latest move helped keep my credit utilization ratio nice and low.

Also, of the two credit cards I had, one was my parents’ card that I was an authorized user of. To be clear, I did not charge that card; I was added to my parent’s account for emergency purposes only. But since his account had been open for many years, it helped me build a longer credit history.

All of that combined led to a perfect credit score. But things are different now.

Different expenses lead to fluctuations in the credit score

These days, I have very good credit. My score tends to hover in the low 800s and 820s, which any lender would look upon favorably. But I don’t have that 850 anymore, and for a few reasons.

First, I have some recent tough inquiries on my credit report due to applying for new credit cards. Each of them lowered my credit score by five to ten points.

I also tend to charge more on my credit cards now than when I was in my 20s. That’s because I have more expenses these days. And even though I make it a point to pay off my credit cards every month to avoid interest charges, during that brief period of time until I pay my bills, my credit utilization ratio tends to go up a bit (not to the point where it hurts my credit). credit, but enough to prevent you from having perfect credit).

It is not a big thing

While it was great to know years ago that my credit score was perfect, it doesn’t bother me that it’s not anymore. First of all, perfect credit is very hard to come by. Something as innocent as applying for a mortgage refinance will keep your credit score from being perfect for many months due to the heavy investigation of your credit report. But in some cases, refinancing a home loan can be a smart move, and it’s not worth putting off to avoid a small hit to your credit score.

Plus, no matter what type of loan or credit card you’re applying for, once your credit score is in the 800s, it’s likely to be viewed favorably. So if my credit score right now is 812, guess what? I don’t need it to be taller. It is unlikely that you will have a different loaner experience with an 812 versus an 832 versus an 850.

This is not to say that I don’t like to be on top of my credit score. But I’ve given up having perfect credit and I’m totally at peace with that.

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