Meet the Man with a Near-Perfect Credit Score

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The median FICO credit score is 723, and a perfect score -- 850 -- is virtually impossible to achieve, according to experts. So how did Tom Pavelka of Westlake, Ohio, end up with a score of 848?

To hear Pavelka tell it, his extraordinary rating -- which, according to a letter from the credit bureau, "ranks higher than 100 percent of U.S. consumers" -- is not the result of a conscious fixation on good credit. He told the Cleveland Plain Dealer "he can't remember the last time he checked [his score] or what it was then." Pavelka, an enthusiastic hunter, was alerted to his remarkable status after applying for a credit card at a Bass Pro Shop outside of Toledo.

"I like to spend money," said Pavelka, who denies being frugal and has indulged an affection for fancy cars and nice restaurants (having no children helps). "I just do it wisely."

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