Have you ever wondered: Just what do I have to do to have a super-high credit score?
MyFico.com, the consumer arm of FICO, creator of one of the most widely used family of credit scores, has published a report on those it considers "high achievers," or those with FICO scores of 785 or higher.
FICO scores range from 300 to 850 — the higher the score, the better your credit profile, and the more likely you are to get a loan at a favorable interest rate.
More than 50 million people — about a quarter of all people with credit scores — have scores of 785 or higher, and they exhibit "strikingly similar" credit habits, regardless of background and life experience, according to myFico. Over all, those with the highest scores:
• keep low revolving balances relative to their available credit;
• don't "max out" their credit cards; and
• consistently make payments on time, even if it's just the minimum required amount.
High credit achievers aren't debt-free. One-third have total balances of more than $8,500 on non-mortgage accounts.
But while they may carry a balance, 96 percent of high achievers show no missed payments on their credit report. Less than 1 percent of high achievers have an account past due.
This is important, because payment history represents 35 percent of an individual's FICO score.
High achievers often keep balances low and use an average of only 7 percent of their available revolving credit. They also have a well-established credit history and seldom open new accounts. Their average credit account is 11 years old.