Q. My FICO score is currently at 800. Is there anything I can do to get it up to a perfect 850?

A. A credit score that high means you’re already doing a lot of things right with your money, so you might not want to risk messing with your credit profile to reach the elusive 850.

“You’re actually increasing your chances of hurting your score,” says John Ulzheimer, CEO of SmartCredit.com. He explains that someone with a score that high is already maxing out on most of the categories they can earn points in.

In fact, Ulzheimer says, at this level the only thing likely preventing you from achieving perfection is your credit report’s age –  determined by both the age of your oldest credit line on the books and the average age of all the accounts on your credit report – and the only way to net more points in that category is to wait. (The older the report is, the more points it earns.)

Conversely, trying to juice up your score by opening up a new account or co-signing on a loan may actually cost you some points, thanks to the inquiries those moves generate and the way they impact your credit-to-debt ratio.

Also, recall that while FICO operates on a scale of 300 to 850, it’s not the only model out there that’s http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/credit/debt/who-behind-your-credit-score  available to consumers or used by lenders. 

As such, “an 821 may be closer to a perfect score than you think,” Ulzheimer says. He adds consumers with scores that high are already in the tier that nets the best interest rates (typically around 750 or higher.)

“Be happy with that and let things lie," he says. 

Want to know what affects your credit score? Email your questions to editors@mainstreet.com.

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