The corollary between straight A’s and a perfect credit score is beautiful. With straight A’s in high school, the chances of you getting into a top university with a merit scholarship increases drastically. After all, how many valedictorians do you see go to Chico State?
With straight A’s in college, you’ll be invited back to interview at all your favorite companies and undoubtedly get a job so long as you aren’t some deranged lunatic with crazy eyes! With a nice job usually comes nice pay and a nice bank account years down the road.
Five years out of college at your wonderfully rewarding, high paying job, you develop a fantastic credit score of 800. It’s not the perfect credit score of 850, but it’s 60-80 points higher than the level which is considered “Excellent” (720-740).
When you go to apply for a car loan, the dealer offers you 0% financing on that hard to get 2013 BMW 335is coupe. When you look for an apartment in a hot job market, landlords actually call you back and give you one month free rent in order for you to be their tenant! And when you live in a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood, sexy ladies and beefcakes take notice and want to get to know you more!
Which do you choose?
ARGUMENTS FOR A PERFECT CREDIT SCORE
With a perfect credit score of 850 you can:
* Borrow money for the lowest rate possible, and potentially even get a cash back offer when buying a car.
* Have your choice of apartments to rent in a hot rental market like San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, and Paris.
* Employers who run background and credit checks will be blown away by your score and likely entrust you with more financial responsibility, which therefore means more money and longevity.
* You will have a leg up in applying for jobs in the finance, consulting, law, non-profit and medical industry which gives out advice and relies on trust.
* Graduate schools will likely be impressed with your maturity and give you the nod.
* You will never get denied for a mortgage refinance 90 days into the process like I almost did.
* 37,000 Valedictorians graduate every year. You think there are 37,000 newly perfected credit scores?
* Ladies and gentlemen will love you!
ARGUMENTS FOR PERFECT GRADES
With a perfect 4.0 GPA you can:
* Have a higher chance of getting a job that you actually want to do given your demonstration of smarts and discipline.
* Fulfill one of four key metrics to getting into the best graduate schools. The other three metrics being GRE/GMAT scores, work experience, and letters of recommendations.
* Actually learn and retain more than others in school who got lesser grades leading to better unknown benefits down the road e.g. You speak eloquently about European history at a cocktail party with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who shares your same passion. He invites you to work for him and provides you an ex-pat package in Paris where you then meet your future wife.
* Never lose arguments with your slacking kids when they complain that grades don’t matter.
* Girls and boys in high school and college will love you!
* Random strangers will befriend you so you can do their homework.
CONCLUSION – A PERFECT CREDIT SCORE WINS
Perfect grades just gets you in the door and is soon forgotten once you are in. A perfect credit score on the other hand accompanies you for life, constantly being tested, checked, and poked. Only about 18% of Americans have FICO (Fair Isaac Corp) scores of between 800-850 and less than 1% have perfect scores. As a result, having a perfect credit score is way more important than having perfect grades.
If you can’t have both good grades and a good credit score, have at least one. Just don’t be a dummy and have poor grades and poor credit scores. Your life will be infinitely harder than necessary because nobody will give you a chance.
* Get A Free Checkup On Your Finances: Sign up for Personal Capital, the web’s #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. You can use Personal Capital to help monitor illegal use of your credit cards and other accounts with their tracking software. In addition to better money oversight, run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool to see exactly how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.
After you link your accounts, use their Retirement Planning Calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.
Updated for 2020 and beyond.