I used to be OBSESSED with my magic number. I spent sooooo much energy making myself believe this number mattered. That my credit score gave me some sort of golden ticket to the world, and the only way I was going to be able to live my life (and have an amazing life) is if I had the best credit score possible. Even writing that now makes me want to cringe.
The fact that I spent YEARS worrying about this stupid number and how it was going to “help” me through life makes me feel sorry for myself.
Have you noticed, especially over the past few years, how much your credit score and knowing your credit score, and the emphasis on improving it, has been mass-marketed to you? Almost every bank now offers you your credit score for free. Even ones you don’t bank with. Do you know why? It’s so they can get your information and sell you products. Let me repeat: The ONLY reason the bank wants you to have constant access to your credit score is to continuously market to you. Banks are in the business of making money after all, not helping you out and being your bff…that’s why they’re freaking banks.
You can now check your score daily and it has no impact on lowering it. There are of course also “free” websites you can sign up for like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and Free Credit Score.com to get your updated credit score weekly. I used to check these sites as often as they’d let me. I used to waste way too much time and read way too many pointless articles on how to achieve the perfect score, like I was going to win keys to the castle if I JUST GOT THAT 800!!
What is our obsession with the credit score?
I remember when your credit score was like this mystery. The only way you knew yours was if you paid for it or were applying for a loan, sometimes they would give it to you. If you checked it on your own, it would “ding” your credit, meaning your score would go down, so you never wanted to check it too often or at all, if you wanted to have the best chance possible of getting approved to borrow money.
For YEARS, the banks played off this number that’s literally made up of algorithmic garbage, and all FOR WHAT?
The way your special magical credit score is calculated is based off you BEING IN DEBT. Let me say that again: In order for you to have a credit score, you must be borrowing money, but only a certain percentage of the total that’s available to you, among other variables like, the number of credit cards you have, variety of personal, car and student loans and how long you’ve been borrowing.
The entire score is based on you BEING IN DEBT. Yes, it’s so important that I have to title case it twice.
Once I really started to look at it this way and read more into it, I began to realize that my dire need to achieve the perfect score would hold me in debt for the rest of my life. The banks want you to borrow money and market to you to think that you NEED to borrow on everything, in order to make your credit score solid.
I’ll tell you this much. Those “free” websites are NOT FREE. Think about it for a second. Those sites are driven by big banks, trying to sell you every type of product, from awesome new cash back and perfect-for-you credit cards, to personal loans “deals”, home loans and everything in between.
So, how I was I able to finally stop my obsession? And why don’t I care about how to get a great credit score anymore? Because I don’t owe any bank or anyone any money. I have a $20,000 emergency fund and I make a plan to PAY for with CASH for everything I want. It wasn’t a quick process. It did not happen overnight. But for me, having to rely on my credit score was wasted energy I did not want to hold me back from focusing on things like helping others get out of debt. Giving my clients hope for their future and an understanding of what’s possible for them.
Sure, there are a few things that are inconvenient when you have a bad credit score or no credit score (20% of the population does), like opening bills in your name or sometimes even renting a house, but there are ways around everything. I’m a firm believer that your credit score does not make you a good or bad person.
Something I always think back on is a story Dave Ramsey told. He talks about how he hasn’t borrowed money for over 20+ years. He’s only saved and payed cash and lived below his means. What a concept right? The story he tells is one about an apartment building that checks your credit score to rent a place. He says because he hasn’t borrowed in so long, his credit score is 0 or indeterminable, or he must be dead, as some people have told him. Ha!
Anyway, they wouldn’t rent him a place because he didn’t have a credit score, but he could literally buy the building with cash. How messed up is our society, and how effed up are the banks to prey on the middle-class and brainwash people to think this credit score is some magic pill? Ramsey says the credit score is really just an “I love debt score” and I couldn’t agree more.
Aren’t people with a credit score, more likely to be stressed because of having to pay loans and debts back every month and LESS likely to come up with a rent payment every month? The credit score takes into account nothing on cash you have in the bank, your income or any assets you own. It is 100% based off you being in debt. I had to say it one more time so that would sink it.
All this to say, I freaking love you. You deserve better. I wish I wouldn’t have wasted years worrying about this stupid number. I can’t go back, but I can speak my truth and share my knowledge with others…and hopefully just one person will realize that the number doesn’t matter. It doesn’t help them out in life. IT HOLDS THEM BACK.
Let me show you the light. If you’re struggling. If you’re worried about paying off your debts. Or maybe you’re making good money and just want someone to talk about investing and setting money goals, I’m your girl. Stop worrying about your credit score range or what color code you’re in.
I have YOUR BEST INTEREST at heart. I’m not a bank or operated by one. I don’t get a kick back to sell products. I want you to succeed and feel good about your money. Book a session today and let’s get started.