I really don't care about my credit score. It may sound goofy, but that's how I play the game. My approach might not seem to be wise at first, so let me do some explaining before you smack yourself in the forehead with your open palm or smack me over the head with your rolled up credit report. But first, let me note the importance of having a good credit score when it comes to most people we know.
Credit scores are useful things for those interested in knowing their own worthiness in terms of credit. (You probably guessed that I'm not one of them.) Many of us have worked hard to get credit, and many have worked hard to establish high credit ratings. To be sure, there are benefits to being a good credit risk in the eyes of those issuing credit.
If you have bad credit, it can:
I can understand why having good credit is a concern to so many of us, especially those who are just starting off in the working world and trying to build their financial profile. I'm not one of those people, so for me, my credit score and my credit report aren't a concern at all. I really don't care what my credit score is. And, I never will be. If this surprises you, then I suggest you read the three big reasons why I'm not the least bit concerned about my credit score.
Having a good credit score means I'm worthy of having a credit card, and perhaps many of them. I don't want additional credit cards. I have several, and that's enough. I only want more than one in case one card fails and I need to use another. Otherwise, one credit card is plenty. I keep getting offers from credit card companies, but I simply toss them in the trash. I don't need anyone encouraging me to spend more. Clint Eastwood’s character in his Dirty Harry movies reminded us time and again, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
I know my self-imposed limitations and therefore I deliberately limit my credit accounts.
Those who are irresponsible with credit don't need more of it. In fact, one might say it’s the last thing you need. So, unless your credit score is giving you gas pains in ways that aren't tolerable to you, I'd suggest you stop worrying about your credit score. It's much more important to change your behavior when it comes to credit, and that will eventually change your credit score.
Let's face it, some of us shouldn't have additional credit, and others simply don't need or want it.
Years ago I had a mortgage, but I don’t anymore...I paid it off so I could enjoy being completely debt free. When I purchased my home, I paid almost half down and set my sights on paying off the note in about five years. I paid it off in three. To the "man riding by on horseback" this might appear to be a very responsible thing to do. Surely it's a sign of someone who is savvy in terms of personal finance, financial asset management and debt-free living.
The savings I enjoyed by paying off in five years what was originally planned to be a 30 year payment process was at least a couple hundred thousand dollars. Wouldn't this be something that my credit score should reflect? Wouldn't this appear on my credit report as an "atta boy?" It should, but nothing of the sort is reflected in my credit report.
What an inaccurate reflection of my responsible financial behavior. I’m given no pats on the back for being capable of saving a large down payment, and no thumbs up for making good on the loan repayment. Instead, the reports suggests that the short duration of the loan wasn't enough to make any meaningful determination with respect to my credit worthiness.
In another story, I know a “cash only” buyer. She and her family have always paid for things in cash. Her bank refused her a loan because she had no credit score to speak of. When they turned her down, she and her entire family removed their money from that bank. If you're a responsible individual who operates largely on a cash basis, your credit report won't show anything because it's not a cash transaction report.
So my credit score (and that of my associate) doesn't reflect what we do because we do things differently...we're responsible with our money.
When it comes to my credit score, those in charge of assigning me my number and making notations on the credit report keep sending me a clear message that I need to play their game. In other words, I need to pay years of interest on the home loan before they might consider jacking up my score. For me in particular, that's just too high a price to pay for a higher score on my credit report.
My credit card company keep sending me special offers and “checks” that I can use to write myself a personal loan. They couldn't be more clear with respect to their intention to get me deep into debt so I can pay them interest each month, and carry over a balance of debt from one month to the next. Sometimes they encourage me to skip a payment, they offer me unsolicited credit line increases, and entice me with rebates for balance transfers and purchases from particular retailers. Isn't that great? I'm not playing any of their games, again, because it's their game, not mine.
They have the game rigged in their favor, just like one of those games you might find on the midway at a carnival. You know, the games that are nearly impossible to win. And, they'd like to financially enslave me to be a lifelong player. No thank you, I'm simply not interested. I know better.
My credit score is probably a three digit number that isn't too shabby, but I really have no idea what it is. All I know is credit reports are slanted in favor of risky behavior and decidedly against conservative behavior in the arena of personal finance. When the reports omit responsible actions and the companies tempt you into non-conservative spending, that's about all I need to know in order to say that the game is rigged.
As the jingle says, "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." In any event, my credit score can be placed in a nutshell by saying that my need for a personal loan or a home mortgage is zero, and it'll likely stay that way for the rest of my life. In addition, although car insurance rates are affected by credit scores, my rates have tumbled, as much as 40% in one year. Moreover, I'm not interested in renting, I'm not looking for a job, and I have no need for a security clearance.
So, why should I get concerned over my credit score? I see no reason at all to be concerned. If my credit score is high, low or somewhere in between, it simply doesn't matter. That's it in a nutshell.
This isn't going to be an attitude or approach that works for everyone, but it certainly works for me and that's what counts. "Debt be Damned" is what I say. I hope you'll join me and share my attitude when it comes to financial enslavement at the hands of those offering us credit.