NEW YORK (9/13/10)--Some people go a lifetime striving to hit a hole-in-one in golf or bowl a 300 game. Others are reaching for an 850 credit score. Ismat Sarah Mangla interviewed several individuals with high scores and asked them to share their success stories (Money Magazine
Aug. 26). Chris Peplinski, a stay-at-home dad from Rogers, Ark., has a score of 813. He reads up on the elements that make up a FICO credit score and checks his number every three months. Leland Lim, 41, has a score of 806. The San Francisco Bay Area doctor checks his reports regularly. However, his score suffered from a single error until he had it corrected. Brenda, 69, and Dick Husemann, 66, have matching scores of 818. The retired Wilmington, N.C., couple keeps balances low, charging less than 10% of their available credit. While this keeps their scores low, they also commit to never missing a payment. Payment history accounts for 35% of the FICO score, and making timely payments is the No. 1 way to improve a credit score. FICO, the Minneapolis-based company that created the widely used credit score model, considers five elements when calculating a score:
* Payment history; * Amount owed; * New credit; * Amount of available credit; and * Types of credit used.
also offers information about the basic elements that determine a score. Those interested in seeing their credit scores can request a free annual credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus from AnnualCreditReport.com
. Users can report any errors directly to the report provider. While an 850 credit score is a quest for only a few, pushing into the upper 700s is on the minds of many. For more suggestions about improving your own credit score, see the Home & Family Finance Resource Center
video “Build Your Best Score.”