Excellent credit score cards are available for those who have earned a high credit score with an excellent credit report. Excellent credit score cards reward their card holders with low interest APRs (Annual Percentage Rate), cash back incentives, fee-free cash advances, higher credit limits, and reward programs that surpass the credit cards reserved for those with lower credit scores.
Not only will an excellent credit score give you the most advantageous credit cards, but it will also ensure that you get the lowest rates on mortgages and auto loans, reduce your premiums on home and car insurance, and can even help you obtain employment where credit score is a factor.
Knowing If You Have Excellent Credit
There are three credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Different lenders report to different agencies, so your credit score can actually vary by agency. The agencies compile your credit report and list information such as your accounts, payment history, balances, and credit limits. The information obtained is then used to calculate your credit score, or FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score. An excellent credit score is 720 or higher on a scale of 300 to 850. A credit score below 650 is considered bad credit. The higher your score, the less the range actually matters, so there is very little difference between 750 and 850. Once you gain an excellent credit score, you want to focus on maintaining it but you do not have to worry about raising it.
Your Credit Report
Although there are many ways of purchasing your credit report, everyone in the United States is allowed to request a free copy from each of the three agencies once every twelve months. This can only be done through a federally mandated centralized agent and there is no fee. Anyone charging you money is not the real “free credit report” deal!
Your Credit Score
Unfortunately, your credit report does not contain your credit score, but it can be purchased for a nominal charge when you order your credit report. A good idea is to request a free credit report from a different credit-reporting agency every four months. This will give you a full year of identity theft monitoring which can then be repeated for subsequent years.
You are also entitled to a free credit report if you are denied a loan, an insurance policy, or a job because of your credit report. In these situations, you are typically given a sheet of paper with the necessary information as to which agency to contact and how much time you have to make the request (usually thirty days from the date of denial). You are also allowed a free credit report if you are applying for unemployment or for some types of public aid. Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and Vermont already offer free credit reports to all of their residents.
What Affects My Credit Score?
Your credit score will be determined by a mathematical calculation that includes the ratio of your current balance against your credit limits, the length of your credit history, and the number of late payments, if any. A late payment actually has a bigger impact on an excellent score than a poor one, dropping a good 700+ score down by 100 points. That is why you cannot take an excellent credit score for granted and you have to be sure to maintain it.
There are other factors that can impact your credit score even though they do not have anything to do with your payment behavior. For example, a credit inquiry can deduct five points off of your score. This does not apply to mortgage or auto credit inquiries as those will only count as one inquiry, but if you apply for a few different credit cards over the course of a couple of months, your score will certainly take a ding. If you request your own credit report, this will not have an impact, nor will credit cards for preapproved offers or prospective employers.
How Can I Get Or Keep An Excellent Credit Score?
There are many strategies for increasing your credit score and there are many myths. For example, if you have a credit card that carries a balance below 30% of its credit limit, paying off that balance is not necessarily the best choice if you are trying to boost your rating. In that case, you are better off making timely payments and paying down your balance instead. Also, since balance to limit ratio is so critical, some people advise you to pay off your higher limit cards instead of focusing on your higher rate cards. And even if you pay your card in full each month, balances are reported each month, so be aware that big buys can affect your credit report based on statement timing.
Your Credit Limits
It’s a good idea to verify the limits on your credit cards to the limits reported to the credit-reporting agencies. Many times limits are increased for valued customers but the change does not get reported. Some cards do not carry limits or do not report limits to the agencies, which can seriously impact your credit score by using your current balance as your limit amount, making your ratio very disproportionate. If you use cards like this, be sure to pay off or pay down the balance before the end of your statement cycle.
Closing Old Accounts
Instead of closing old cards, use them every few months for a small purchase that you pay off in full and on time. This will help not only with credit longevity but it will help impact your score because inactive accounts do not hold as much weight in the credit score factor.
If you are a good customer and make a late payment, call your credit card carrier and ask for forgiveness. Although they are not obligated to remove the late payment from your history, they may be willing to do it as a courtesy to you. If you have a history of late payments, you can try asking for the delinquencies on your account to be removed after you make a series of consecutive on time payments, such as after one year of excellent payments.
Credit Report Accuracy
Review your credit report for errors that will impact your report and score. It there are any late payments, collections, or negatives that do not truly belong to you, dispute it right away. Also be sure to report incorrect limits and any incorrect account statuses. For example, if you paid an account “as agreed” and it is marked as “settled,” you need to report the discrepancy. If you have any old collection charges hanging on your report that are small and disputed, let the credit bureau know that you disputed the charge. There’s a good chance that the collection agency may not bother investigating an old, insignificant charge when the credit-reporting agency requests verification, thus eliminating if from your credit report and making a potentially significant difference to your credit score. Also make sure that negative items drop off of your report after seven years and that bankruptcy drops off of it after ten years.
Another thought to keep in mind if you’re trying to obtain or maintain an excellent credit score is to have smaller balances on several cards instead of consolidating your accounts. Once again, a big percentage of the credit score formula comes from the balance to limit ratio, so if you have one card with a super high balance it will hurt your score more than if you have 3 cards with the same balance spread out as close to the 30% under limit mark as possible.
Chase Down The Best In Excellent Credit Score Cards Now!
Even with excellent credit you need to be cautious to maintain your excellent credit rating. Be sure to verify and update your credit report regularly, watch your balances and limits, and be sure to make payments on time. When selecting a credit card, consider which card makes the most sense for your needs. For example, a grand Rewards program may not be so grand if a lower APR would have been more advantageous to you. To start shopping for your credit card right away, use the free credit card chaser at the top of the page!