The Highest Credit Score in the US

The highest possible credit score is 850. But apparently, no one ever gets that score. Tom Pavelka of Westlake, Ohio, recently was congratulated by a credit bureaus for having a credit score of 848, which "ranks higher than 100 percent of U.S. consumers." How did he do it?

He has a few simple rules:

1. Never charge something without having something to show for it.

2. Never spend money without knowing when you can repay it.

3. Pay your bills on time.

You might think you have to have no debt to have a really high credit score, but that's not true. Credit scores are formed in part based on your payment history. If you never have debt, you have no track record for repaying it.

In fact, the Pavelkas have a mortgage (with four years left,) an equity line that he usually uses to buy cars and then pays off, four credit cards with amounts due this month (they pay the bills in full each month) and a total of eight credit cards with available credit exceeding $120,000.

But here's what might be the biggest factor in building such a reputation for financial responsibility: the Pavelkas have no children. Link -via Consumerist

(Image credit: Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer)

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First of all it's just a fluke that this guy is at the top. He obviously didn't lose his job in the recession nor did some other problem create havoc for his financial situation. Good for him. However there are people that don't have a mortgage, pay cash and have good retirement savings that have a much lower score. Credit scores are arbitrary otherwise your score would be exactly the same at all three reporting agencies. Anybody with a credit score above 700 shouldn't lose any sleep over it. Anything over 750 is very good.
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You have a point there. My mother has a good pension, a farm that is paid for, and the wherewithall to do what she wants, but not much of a credit rating (she says). It's because she buys a car with cash every ten years or so, bought the farm on a land contract, and pays off her one credit card every month.
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The real lesson here is that a credit score is more about how much a credit provider is likely to make off you than whether you are actually in good financial shape. As long as you don't route money through a credit card, you basically don't exist.
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