First Person: Have a Nearly Perfect Credit Score? I Do!

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A perfect credit score means that you achieved and maintained a rating of 850 over the substantial period of time. I found out that I am one of the small percentage of Americans who is in that category when I started shopping for a new car. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from the auto dealer that I have the highest credit score in the nation, because I personally never considered or thought of myself as anything but perfect: financially or otherwise.

Let's take a close look at what it means to have a perfect credit score. According to John Hewitt, eHow Contributor, "people who have never missed a credit payment, always paid their bills on time, never had an altercation with the law or even had an error on their report have nearly reached a perfect credit score after demonstrating exemplary behavior for years." In other words, the high credit score demonstrates that you are financially smart, responsible, and trustworthy to deal with from the financial institution's perspective. Of course, it does not mean that you can borrow $1 million from the bank with the annual income of $100,000, but it gives you other benefits, such as: peace of mind, no hassle car loans, house rental leases, lines of credit, and the general respect from the society, to name a few.

In America, in the "land of plenty," it is not easy to be financially intelligent. It takes a lot of effort, self-discipline, and personal strength to achieve the financial integrity. Most people acquire this knowledge from their parents. They are the first and important teachers in terms of money, family economics, personal responsibility, and such. In general, financial integrity is directly connected to the morality of a person. If you are honest, you must have some sense of financial intelligence. In practice, it might not be so.

Here is my life "mantra" which helps me to maintain a perfect credit score:

  1. Practice financial self-discipline: don't waste money on things you don't need!
  2. Prioritize! Pay for the life necessities first, such as: food, home mortgage or rent, loans, credit cards, utilities, medical or dental bills, education, clothes.
  3. Keep your weaknesses in-check! Don't overspend on hobbies whatever they might be: books, movies, games, clothes, cars, vacations, etc.
  4. If you buy anything expensive, always have a definite plan in mind how to pay for it.
  5. Balance your checking and saving accounts daily: be meticulous about it and enter every single purchase you made as a separate item; it doesn't matter how small the purchase is.
  6. Be financially intelligent in terms of gifts and charities. Help your family members first; your neighbors - second.
  7. You can live and enjoy full life without being rich. You can take vacations to exotic places during the off-season. You can buy concert tickets on sale, or find the deals for the plays and movies. You can buy the famous labels of clothes at the resale stores, such as: T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, or Consignment stores. There are ways to compromise. It takes diligence, skill, brains, and self-control to be practical and financially savvy.

I hope the above steps will help you to achieve the peace of mind - a perfect credit score.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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