I remember when I turned 18. I had been waiting to be an “adult”! I had been living in Oklahoma for one month at college. I had a job and could cash my paychecks at the bank that wrote the check. They were changing their rules and would no longer be cashing their own checks! And I had not been old enough to open my own bank account down there to cash my paychecks!!
I turned 18! Woo Hoo! I opened my own checking account. I was feeling very adult-ish! What else does an 18 year old do? I opened my first credit card. American Express. I needed to start building my credit score, right? That is what you are “supposed” to do! About a year later I added a truck payment. And it grew from there. Such is life, right? I mean, that’s “normal”. The next many years of my life devoted a good portion of time to maintaining and building my credit score. As an adult, what you can do in life is very much tied to your credit score, right? It should be taken care of and increased whenever possible! Right?
Then a few years ago I started reading Dave Ramsey’s book. He refers to a credit score as an “I Love Debt” score. I hadn’t heard it talked about like that before. But, it makes sense. What do you need to build your credit score? Debt. What type of accounts does a credit score track? Debt. What can grow your credit score? Different types of debt. What influences your credit score? How long you’ve had debt. How well you make payments on the debt. See the repeating word here? Debt. Think about it. What if you have money and no debt? They don’t care. They don’t care how well you’ve managed your money if you haven’t borrowed money.
Here’s a good example of the crappiness of this: the hubster and I had a rough time many years ago and we did have a negative thing on our credit reports. I’ve been waiting for it to leave. Now, my goal is to be so financially set that our credit scores are Zero! But, we aren’t there yet. So I do monitor things. Credit Karma sent me an email that my score had improved. I checked it out this morning.
The negative thing finally got so old that it dropped off our credit reports!! My score went up almost 60 points!! SIXTY! We do have one credit card open right now that is just in my name. We will have it paid off by the end of the year! Yay! This is relevant right now that this is only in my name.
The house that we sold a week ago was only in the hubster’s name. We bought that house when my business was new, and the lender did not want my name on that loan. The hubster’s credit report showed a newly paid off house, and this negative thing off our credit. His score should have sky-rocketed, right? I mean, my score went up almost 60 points and his score showed the paid off house too! His should have jumped remarkably!! No. His credit report shows no credit cards. So his score went up not even 10 points.
Let that sink in. A 12 year old mortgage paid off. A negative thing gone. But no credit card, so his score went up 50 points less than mine. You can’t tell me that’s not ridiculous!!
Tonight I am thankful for a goal to not play this game anymore! Be careful who you listen to in this life. Give thought to what you believe is “the way it has to be”. No, a person does not need a credit score. Do you know what you have, if you don’t have a credit score? Money. You have money. You save a ton of it by not paying anyone else interest every month. You save up the money for things that you want. And you live a free life, knowing that you don’t any one on this Earth a single dime. That’s where we’re heading. We’ll be there before we know it! And I am so thankful and excited to change our family tree! I am excited for my children to never have this weight around their neck! And I am excited for my children to live a free life, free of debt and free of the belief that they “have” to have debt to grow this “I Love Debt” score.