NEW YORK (MainStreet) — You want a super high credit score. Once you clear that near-impossible 800, you're going to have the keys to the kingdom. That's where you start getting all the super low-rate, extra high perk credit cards and rock bottom mortgages, right? Wrong. In fact you'll probably be surprised at just where the benefits of having a high credit score top out.
What does an ultra-high credit score really get you?
When asked what an ultra-high credit score gets you, Mike Sullivan, director of education with Take Charge America, is very candid. "Nothing but the respect of the loan officer," he says.
Lenders are free to establish any lending criteria they want, provided they don't violate the law. But Sullivan says that he's not aware of any advantages that an 825 credit score has over a 780.
Randy Padawer, a consumer advocate with LexingtonLaw, tells a story about his father pulling his credit report and seeing that he had "only" an 810. "He was really angry that it wasn't higher," Padawer says. For his own part, the younger Padawer thought it was funny. He believes the benefits of having a good credit score significantly diminish over 720. At 720, you're going to start qualifying for the best rates. At 740, you're going to start getting approved for almost 100% of the best loan products available. "At that point, the only thing standing between a consumer and the loan they want are other factors," he says, naming income as the biggest one. Income, of course, is not a factor when it comes to figuring your credit score.
The role income plays
But surely if you have a score over 800 you'll qualify for top-notch credit products, such as the famous Centurion Card from American Express, right? Wrong. In fact, whether you get a Centurion or similar product has more to do with how much money you make and how much you spend on your credit card than anything. American Express will be far more interested in how much you spend on your card than your credit score. Once you hit that 720, you'll probably qualify for the card — provided you're using enough of your credit to make it worth their while to make the offer.