Your credit score is an important part of your financial life, but is it worth obsessing over obtaining a perfect or near-perfect score like 800?
Money expert Clark Howard says absolutely not!
You Don’t Need an 800 Credit Score
“There are people who want to be at 850 [the highest possible score]. I don’t get it. You’re crazy if you obsess with an 800 or 850 credit score,” Clark says.
While Clark does want you to pay attention to your credit, he says that once you reach a certain point, it’s a waste of time to think about it too much.
“Your goal is from wherever you are right now, to try to move that number up,” Clark says. “But once you get to 760, just give it a rest.”
Beverly Harzog, a credit card expert and consumer finance analyst for U.S. News & World Report, agrees.
“If you can get up to around a 760, you’re going to get the same benefits, the same offers, that someone who has an 840 score is going to get,” she says.
Clark loves free websites and apps like Credit Karma that let people monitor their own credit, but he points out that there can be drawbacks to those sites.
“People take their phone, and they look at these apps like Credit Sesame and Credit Karma all the time to see what happened with their score and ‘Why did I drop from 824 to 807?'” Clark says. “I don’t get it. My credit score is somewhere around an 818. That’s higher than I need.”
Of those people who are fixated on getting their credit scores to 800 or higher, he says: “I’d ask them how much they’re exercising each day, how much time they’re spending with family.”
While that’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Clark is serious when he says that you should be perfectly content with a lower number:
“Once you’re above 760 — and particularly 780 — you’re happy. In order to get a perfect score, you have to do several things. You have to keep your credit utilization potentially below 3%. You have to have a variety of types of loans. I’d rather you be happy once you’re in the golden range. You don’t need to take out other forms of debt or try to manipulate your score. You’re already qualifying for the best loans and the best loan rates.”
If your score isn’t up to 760 yet, learn more about some things you can do to get there. We have a guide to the best ways to increase your credit score.