Shawn Nelson, a 54-year-old heavy equipment operator who works in the Alaskan oilfields, has a perfect credit score.
"I hit 800 a few years ago, and then I went to a 820, and then 830, and I was like, 'S---, I'm going to try do this,'" he tells CNBC Make It.
In March, his FICO Score 9 hit 850. That's the highest you can go using the latest version of FICO's base scoring model, though other scores specific to different types of loans range further.
"Only the top 1 or 2 percent of people will have a 'perfect' 850 credit score," Rod Griffin, director of consumer awareness at Experian, tells CNBC Make It. "And it probably won't stay that way. Scores move up and down as your credit history changes. If you increase your balances, open a new account, or have old information fall off your report, your score might slip down or bounce back up."
But if Nelson continues to be diligent, his score could stay perfect.
Here's what he did to get to 850, which he shares because "hopefully this can help somebody out there."