Credit Score Improving Your Score

9 Habits That People Who Have A Perfect Credit Score

That impressively perfect 850 credit score may seem like an unattainable accomplishment, especially if you have suffered with past credit mistakes such as too much debt, bankruptcies, or collection accounts. A small pool of people, roughly half a percent of the population, enjoys the benefits of the top tier of credit. High credit scores give a consumer a wider variety of options in all of their buying decisions, and can save them literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over a lifetime.

How can you join this group of credit elites? It may be easier than you think. Let’s look at nine smart habits of people who have a perfect credit score.

1. Create a budget
A perfect credit score is born far before a credit report is pulled. It begins with a person’s budget. Consumers in this upper credit scoring echelon understand their expenses and balance them with their incomes. Avoiding bills or thinking “I will find some way to make ends meet” sets you up for a financial meltdown. Get more involved with household bills, and understand your outgoing money to help you manage better, and avoid potential late payments or mounting debt.

2. Live within your means
It’s sometimes difficult to not yearn for a new car when your neighbor just bought one, or fantasize about an expensive vacation when your brother-in-law just took one. Don’t let these feelings cause you to spend more than you can afford. One of the main components that people with perfect credit scores share is their ability to live on their salaries and pay their bills on time without incurring crushing debt. Embrace self control. Your financial future is worth it.

If you really want to purchase something, you need to do what they do and…

3. Plan large expenditures
Impulse purchases are not your friend! They cause you to overspend on items that you may not even really want in the big picture. If you have car fever, vacation envy, or lust for a new piece of jewelry or golf club, plan for payment in advance. Postpone the purchase until you save all, or at least the majority, of the cost. This also gives you time to decide if you truly want to spend the money.

4. Know your weak points
Nobody, not even the people who have attained an 850 credit score, is perfect. Building your credit worthiness demands that you acknowledge the areas of your financial life that derail your budget, and deal with them accordingly. Can’t resist nice dinners? Then put one in your monthly budget. Get in trouble with online shopping? Limit your purchases to one a month. The goal here is to stay out of potentially disastrous debt that leads to late payments, which tanks your credit score.

5. Pay your bills early
People with perfect credit are rabid about paying their bills on time, as it comprises 35% of the credit score. Aside from not having the money to pay the bills, some consumers have the money but forget to mail the check in on time or set up the online payment. Don’t let your disorganization mess up your credit score! Set up a monthly schedule of payment and stick to it. Look into smartphone apps that will let you set reminders that bills are due, or schedule them online ahead of time. If you have even one late payment, you can kiss your perfect credit score good bye.

6. Keep old credit cards open
Analyze those credit reports that show 850 scores, and you will most likely find at least one credit card that was open twenty years ago or longer. Length of credit history makes up 15% of your credit score, as the model likes a long trail of “proof” that a consumer successfully manages their finances. Avoid closing the credit cards you have had for a long time, and use them every few months, so they are factored into your credit history.

7. Review your credit report annually
Keeping a finger on the pulse of their credit reports is another smart habit practiced by people with perfect scores. It is shockingly easy for debtors to accidentally report a late payment, or a collection to show up that actually belongs to another person. Adopt this habit by ordering a credit report at least once a year. Review every line and make certain there are no accounts unfamiliar to you, and all of your accounts are showing correct information. If you find errors, dispute them with the bureaus as soon as possible to get them removed.

8. Utilize debt to your advantage
It’s vital to use credit to build your score. Consumers with perfect scores generally have a mix of revolving and installment debt, as the scoring model favorably rates a mix of credit in its calculation.

The point here is to use credit in a responsible manner. Charge items on your credit card and pay them off at the end of the month. This builds your credit history without getting you into financial trouble.

9. Build a savings cushion
If you talk to people with low credit scores, many of them blame it on unexpected emergencies such as a medical issue or a costly home repair. Without a savings, these expenses end up on credit cards, which racks up interest and may put the consumer over budget and behind. By chucking away a small part of each paycheck, you can build up a nest egg to use for these emergencies. This protects your finances and minimizes the chances of getting in trouble with deep debt and late payments.

Striving toward a perfect 850 credit score is a lofty goal, and takes time, diligence, and patience. Even if you don’t achieve the top score, you can still enjoy the perks a great credit score makes in low interest rates and more loan options with a score in the upper 700s. Implement these nine smart tips as soon as possible, and you will see your credit scores climb as you manage your finances intelligently and responsibly.

Using these tools, how can you improve your path to perfect credit? Let us know your plan in the comments!

About the author

Susan McCullah

Susan is an established writer who has created dozens articles about credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, and finance. She has worked in the Credit Reporting industry for 10+ years, and is FCRA certified. She has conducted presentations and webinars on the topics of credit scoring formulation, raising credit scores, and credit score mistakes.


  • I have a couple of credit cards with fees. One of them is $100 a year! The charges are broken down to a monthly fee. It has a zero balance ($1450 limit) and paying that fee is honestly a pain. Can I cancel that card?

  • I use my credit card for almost all purchases, but I make payments on it generally once a week (*not* once a month), so I don’t have a huge bill at the end of the month, at it comes close to simulating using a debit card, but with the protection of a credit card. I also have set up all the bills I can to be paid automatically online, about a week before they are due. My credit score seems to like these! 🙂

    • your on a right path of paying your bills. and the best way that people don’t realize that works the best to improve credit works everytime counts 75% of credit improvement

    • I think this is the one thing I’m not doing, I have a credit card, but use it for only emergencies and usually replace the cash asap. For fear that I’ll get behind again, even though the stimulator tool shows me what monthly payments will do for my score over time. But I will certainly try and be patient. Thanks for the tip!

  • Hello I’m used before Lexington for couples months and nothing happen so you guys know other company I can used and not wasting my money than you

  • I have been using your information to raise my FICO scores from 705-740 up to 753-802. Why is Experion 40-50 points lower than Transunion? Is this normal? I changed bank for checking account to Chase Bank. Using Bill Pay, I set up recurring payments on all credit cards to cover minimum payments. When I get my invoices, I change amount to pay if balance is lower or if I have extra to pay more. Therefore, no late payments. They also give FICO score information for 7+ categories that make up your FICO score. You can also change information to see how paying down or increasing debt, increasing credit limits, etc will affect your score. When I pay off all credit cards my FICO will be 823. Great tool.

  • I have used some of yr advice and have seen a difference in my overall credit score, changing, from a low 300’s to the high 600’s and then in the past year or so I’ve seen it jump to being even higher. So great job on giving this advice, we all need it, since our own habits can some time control us, im pretty sure none of us wants to be in this situation…

  • I will continue to follow all of the processes. My score has raised from 482 to 644. Want to have the perfect score.

  • I have been following the advice given. I have come from a 482 to 644. I will work to get my score to the 800. Key is staying focus.

  • I were using you guys and for all most 6 month you guys have my case nothing happened am just paying so much money and nothing why.

      • I used Lexington Law some years ago. They were advertising they could remove BKs so I fell for it. Finally stopped paying them after 8 months. They removed old information that anyone can do on their own.

        • Lexington Law Firm did nothing for me but charge a monthly fee which they claimed has to be debited from a checking or savings account. I do not recommend them, in fact I recommend staying away from them.

  • I were using you guys and for all most 6 month you guys have my case nothing happened am just paying so much money and nothing why.

  • Love to read articles about credit scores. I am one trying to climb to the perfect 800, but like you said, it takes time. I look at the climb as a game where I’m playing against a low score. I’m going to win even if it take me a little longer to get that perfect 800. I will get there. Thank you for all your advice.

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