FICO recently released a study that gives details about the financial habits of the 50 million consumers with the highest credit scores.
FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and any score above 785 is considered very high. Approximately 25 percent of consumers fall into this high achiever category.
FICO's research shows these high achievers constantly make payments on time, keep their balances low and only apply for the credit that they need.
Ninety-six percent showed no missed payments on their credit report. They also have well-established credit accounts, rarely opening new credit accounts. Their average credit account is 11 years old.
These high achievers are doing many things well, but they still carry debt. They have an average of seven credit cards--including closed accounts--and an average of four credit cards have a balance. However, they keep these balances relatively low, only using an average of 7 percent of their available revolving credit. One-third of these consumers with high credit scores have total balances of more than $8,500 on non-mortgage accounts.
Some high achievers have overcome financial problems. One in 9,000 had a tax lien or bankruptcy on their credit report. One in 100 had a debt collection listed on their credit report.