NEW YORK (MainStreet) It must be like bowling a perfect game, pitching a no-hitter or scoring a hole-in-one. You want to tell everyone, take pictures and put your name in lights. Achieving a perfect FICO credit score of 850 was such a big deal to one man, he issued a press release.
SubscriberWise announced today that company founder David Howe has obtained a perfect credit score of 850. The FICO score, the most commonly accepted credit measurement among U.S. lenders, ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 850 the higher the better.
The press release issued by the company on behalf of its owner says that less than 1% of the adult credit consuming population has achieved a "genuine" perfect score. In 2010 SubscriberWise conducted an analysis of perfect scores among its member population finding that less than 2/10ths of 1% of the "scorable" population had a perfect 850 FICO score.
"In rare circumstances it is possible to get a FICO score of 850," former FICO public affairs director Craig Watts is quoted as saying. "That's the good news. Here's the bad: For a broad section of the population, it probably isn't possible, even if they do everything right."
The reason some people cannot achieve the lofty 850 is because there is not one set of criteria to calculate a credit score there are ten, according to Watts. In 2009 he told public radio's Marketplace that each "scorecard" gives different elements of a credit history a different weighting, depending on where you are in your economic life. If you are a college student or if you have declared a bankruptcy you are scored on that table of your peers. The highest score available for the cohort may not be anywhere near 850.
Of course, as everyone knows, the secret to a high credit score is to pay your bills on time, keep low balances on your credit cards (some say using as little as 10% of your available credit) and know that time is on your side. The longer the credit history, the potentially higher the score.
Generally, the top tier of FICO credit scores is anything 760 or higher. That's where consumers gain the best rates on loans and are considered the most reliable borrowers. Though Howe, the man with the perfect score, says 850 has been a goal of his for years.
"It's true that the pursuit of the perfect FICO score has been a long-time motivator," Howe says in the release. "And yes, I intend to reveal virtually every detail of credit data to satisfy both the interest and curiosity of other obsessed-individuals around this country and around the world who also lose sleep over the perfect FICO 850 score."
Everybody has to have a hobby, right?
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet