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What score is "enough"?

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Anonymous
Not applicable

What score is "enough"?

What score is basically the lowest that gives you ALL the benefits?  For instance, can you get a different interest rate on a mortgage if one person's score is 810 and one is 850 (or are these essentially considered the same)?  Another way of putting it, is there a score that doesn't really have a benefit going over (other than bragging rights and pride...not to minimize those things).  I'm sure one answer is that it depends on the person and what they want...but that isn't the answer/question I am posing here.

 

What I am posing is, is there a score that going over doesn't have any extra benefit (maybe there isn't one...and an 850 will get a person approved for a certain high value business loan that an 849 wouldn't work for...I'm not sure)?

 

For instance, if my score was 780 (it isn't, but hopefully will be this year) would there be any tangible incentive of trying to increase it?

 

Thanks.

26 REPLIES 26
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?

I have heard that 760 seems to be that magic number and I’ve heard that 740 is the magic number. 

 

Like all things, it seems to be attached to your individual profile. 

Message 2 of 27
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?

Thanks!

Message 3 of 27
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?

760 IMO.  When you can get approved for the lowest rates possible, I would say you've accomplished what you needed to.  If 760 qualifies you for the best APRs, the people with higher credit scores still get the same rate.  Tangible benefit for myself to get to 850....nope.

Message 4 of 27
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?

Wow, that's a great question! And I think the answer has to be 850.

 

Sure, in any normal situation 849 is going to be essentially the same as 850 and so far above what you need that it doesn't make any difference. But I can think of a couple of scenerios where it could make a difference.

 

First, you're competing against other applicants for a loan. Or it could be prestigious card, or a membership in a club, or a job (a lot of different kinds of applications consider credit scores.) It may not be a direct competition, but banks only have so much money to lend, and for various reasons institutions limit the number of cards, memberships, and (obviously) jobs they offer. It seems unlikely that it's going to come down to one point of credit score, but, at least in theory, it could make a difference and 850 is better than 849.

 

It's like an SAT score for a university applicant. If you want to go to most state schools, the difference between 1590 and 1600 is nothing. Either one is far more than you need. But if you're competing for a scholarship at an elite school, 1600 might be necessary.

 

Second, if you're applying for something elite, there are going to be human eyes looking at your scores. We're not talking about a simple credit card application that a computer evaluates and spits out an answer. When a human looks at 849, it's 849. That's your score. But when you see 850 you know it's capped. It's not necessarily only just one point better than 849. It might really be 900 if the scale went that high. In other words, when you hit 850, the impression is that you're basically "off the scale," which (at least when a human is evaluating it) could make a big difference. In fact, in this sense, the difference between 849 and 850 may be the single biggest advantage a one-point gain can get you (although in reality, there are other thresholds that are far more important for most of us). And again, this is only going to figure in for elite applications.

Message 5 of 27
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: What score is "enough"?


@Anonymous wrote:

What score is basically the lowest that gives you ALL the benefits?  For instance, can you get a different interest rate on a mortgage if one person's score is 810 and one is 850 (or are these essentially considered the same)?  Another way of putting it, is there a score that doesn't really have a benefit going over (other than bragging rights and pride...not to minimize those things).  I'm sure one answer is that it depends on the person and what they want...but that isn't the answer/question I am posing here.

 

What I am posing is, is there a score that going over doesn't have any extra benefit (maybe there isn't one...and an 850 will get a person approved for a certain high value business loan that an 849 wouldn't work for...I'm not sure)?

 

For instance, if my score was 780 (it isn't, but hopefully will be this year) would there be any tangible incentive of trying to increase it?

 

Thanks.


IMHO there is no such sweet spot, for several reasons.

 

(a) There are multiple FICO scoring models, each of which behaves differently, sometimes wildly differently.

 

(b) The scores are just an algorithm applied to the data. Sometimes the score is "good enough" but the data which kept it from being a perfect score is what kills you. E.g., I was turned down by a credit union for a credit card when the FICO score they pulled was 827, for the reason that I had too many new accounts and inquiries. Yes by all accounts an 827 is "good enough" but it would have been 850 except for my new accounts and inquiries. So the fact that it wasn't a perfect score could be a tip off that the reasons it's not a perfect score are what will come up and bite me.

 

So I agree with @Anonymous that it's a worthwhile endeavor, and not a wasted endeavor, to strive for perfection.

 


Total revolving limits 657200 (536700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 712 TU 710 EX 708

Message 6 of 27
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?

Having an 850 may take away the codes associated with why your score isn't perfect but simply having an 850 does not guarantee an approval.  An example would be FICO doesn't consider income.  A person with an 850 can still be denied credit.

 

Many lenders have their own internal scoring also.  Let's say you have a habit of making payments that are 3 days late each month.  As far as FICO is concerned you will remain perfect.  The creditor's internal model may have dropped you to the point where you won't be approved for anything else but FICO says your score is 850.

 

For the best rates, I do believe that 760 and above will get you the best APRs.  I don't like to use the words "always" and "never".  They will get you into trouble.  So even though I can be perfect on a scoring model, I don't believe there really is a perfect score.  I believe that 760 is good enough.  

Message 7 of 27
Gmood1
Super Contributor

Re: What score is "enough"?

Only to make yourself feel good. Once you've hit 740, depending on the scoring model. There is no benefit besides stroking ones ego.

The score still doesn't guarantee an approval. That's dependent on the file associated with the score.
There aren't any elite loans out there designed for 850.
Lenders want to make money off the loans. There's no benefit for them to give you a lower rate than someone with a 780.
Message 8 of 27
Thomas_Thumb
Senior Contributor

Re: What score is "enough"?

There is no magic number but, I get bummed when my EQ mortgage score dips below 800 Smiley Sad.

Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
Fico 8 AU:. EQ 887 TU 897 EX 899
Fico 4 BC:. EQ 826 TU 858, EX Fico 98 BC: 870
Fico 4 AU:. EQ 831 TU 872, EX Fico 98 AU: 861
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 9 of 27
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What score is "enough"?


@Gmood1 wrote:
Only to make yourself feel good. Once you've hit 740, depending on the scoring model. There is no benefit besides stroking ones ego.

The score still doesn't guarantee an approval. That's dependent on the file associated with the score.
There aren't any elite loans out there designed for 850.
Lenders want to make money off the loans. There's no benefit for them to give you a lower rate than someone with a 780.

This. And we have seen this in action on this very forum where someone with a much lower score and lower income than someone with 800s got a higher limit. 

 

This happens with Disco and NFCU for example where someone with a 700 and lower income ends up with a better outcome than the person at 800 because they’re more likely to be profitable based on the algorithms those two lenders use. 

 

So really it comes down to what’s good enough for the best rates and that is widely regarded as 760 but there are no guarantees with anything, even rates, based on score alone. 

Message 10 of 27
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