If you know what your credit score is (and you should), you might know that the best possible score is 850. So the fact that there is a man who has a score of 848 might just impress you — and maybe simultaneously make you super, super jealous that he’s managed to pull that off in this economy. As he explains it, it’s not that he doesn’t have debt. He’s just very wise about how he handles it.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer (via The Daily Mail) delves into the life of Tom, who has a great 3,000 square-foot home, a good job, a couple of nice sports cars and a happy marriage of 25 years. Oh and a credit score that is one of the highest in the entire country. He received a letter from the credit bureau with the happy news, saying his score “ranks higher than 100 percent of U.S. consumers.”
“I don’t know anybody who has a perfect credit score,” said the director of public education for Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, the company that provided the basis for Tom’s score.
He goes on:
“It’s almost impossible to have a perfect credit score. If you use credit and you have debt, there’s always some risk you will not be able to repay it. You could become ill, you could be in an accident that’s not your fault. Because there’s always some risk from things beyond your control that you won’t be able to repay the debt, you won’t have a perfect credit score.”
Tom didn’t even know when he had last checked his credit score. For him, it’s kind of simple and yet as the Plain Dealer puts it, he’s kind of a financial anomaly: He and his wife carpooled to work for years to avoid paying for downtown parking and racking up miles, and yet they have seven cars. They have a 65-inch TV but no high-definition cable or even — gulp — high-speed Internet access. The couple eats out a lot but they don’t vacation anywhere super exotic regularly.
So how does he do it? He’s got 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.
He and his wife do have debt, including a mortgage and a total of eight credit cards. But those cards are paid off in full each month and his wife can veto his “fun” purchases.
“I don’t like being called frugal,” he said. “I like to spend money. I just do it wisely.”
For more of Tom’s story, including how he started on his road to fiscal responsibility and tips for how to be more like him, check out the source link below.
Westlake man has one of the highest credit scores in the entire country, 848 out of 850 [Cleveland Plain Dealer]