posted on Oct, 21 2007 @ 11:55 AM
Buying a home.
Renting a home.
Buying a car.
Renting a car.
Leasing a car.
Getting a job.
Getting a checking account.
Getting a savings account.
The above list is just a sample of the things which require credit checks before "approval".
In just over a decade, the American public has been virtually enslaved by credit. This day in age, you can't so much as get the power turned on in
your home without a credit check. That is, if your credit score is good enough for you to have a home.
Of course, you can always pay cash right? Well, actually no, you can't. In some cases, businesses are actually turning away from cash sales in favor
of credit sales. Why? Because they stand to make a LOT more money off of you if you sign your name to a compounding interest contract. Then, not only
do you pay them monthly, but if you run into a bit of hardship for a couple of months, they will take what they are "loaning" you right back and
suck someone else into your old "contract". Even if this weren't the case, how many of you have an extra 100,000 in cash laying around the house to
pay for a home?
But hey, the credit system is all good as long as you keep your credit score above a 725 (or what's considered the "good" range) right? Sure, I
suppose it's okay then. However, keeping your credit score in that range is a lot easier said than done. Let me tell you a story.
I started building my credit from the day I turned 18. It certainly wasn't hard since I started receiving my credit card solicitations about 6 months
beforehand. I tried to be smart with my credit. I would use my cards to buy only enough that I could pay off each month. And I did this for 4 years,
never missing a payment. Needless to say, my credit score was PERFECT.
I was in pretty good shape. A 22 year old kid with PERFECT credit and almost ZERO debt. Then, it happened. The job I was working at was put out of
business by the evil empire (ie: Wal-mart). This just so happened right after I placed a 600.00 charge on my card. But hey, it's no big deal right?
Just get another job and get your payments sent in. And that's exactly what I set out to do. Unfortunately, it seemed that Wal-mart was responsible
for putting a few other businesses under as well and sending too many people out into the already oversaturated job market.
Skip ahead 3 months.
I have looked and looked and looked and NOTHING. It took every bit of money I could scrape together and borrow from friends/family to be able to pay
my rent and keep a bit of food on the table, not to mention the other bills. So, needless to say, my credit card payments fell behind. It was then
that I noticed something amazing.
I went to the bank to apply for a small personal loan to keep me going until I could find another job. I went into the bank thinking I was a solid
approval. After all, I had spent the past 4 years getting my credit score to perfect.
Imagine my surprise when my application came back denied. I was in shock. I asked why I was turned down and was told that my credit score was too low.
I didn't see how that could POSSIBLY be right. However, the officer showed me the report that came back and my score was now a 610 (minimum required
for the loan without a cosigner as 675).
I couldn't freaking believe it. I had busted my arse for the last 4 years building up my credit score and in 3 months time I lost almost every stitch
of effort I had put into building my credit. And for what? ONE LOUSY FREAKING CREDIT CARD AND A BAD LUCK STREAK.
In 3 months time, I went from being a 22 year old kid that could get a 250k house on his own to a 22 year old kid that couldn't even get his power
turned on without a deposit.
And guess what? It has only gotten worse since then. I spent the next 6 months of my life trying to get my score back up. I got a job and paid off my
debt with my first 3 paychecks. Then, I went back to my old strategy of buying small and paying off each month and my credit score seemed to stay in
the 600 range hell. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get the score back up. And guess what? I STILL haven't gotten the score back up. As a
matter of fact, as a result of the interest rates on my card SKYROCKETING as a result of that 3 months, my credit score has actually DROPPED because
my having to make payments a bit late from time to time.
Naturally, during this time I contemplated just dropping the card and going to cash only. However, this doesn't seem to be an option since I am not
rich and can't afford to pay EVERYTHING in cash. So, here I remain, trapped in credit hell/limbo. And for what? 3 short months of hardship after 4
years of consistency.
So, what does my credit score say about me? All it says about me is that I have paid what I owe on time for all but a short 3 months several years
Yet, because of that 3 months oh so long ago, I can no longer get ANYTHING that requires credit without either a cosigner or a HUGE down payment.
You want to know the really sad part?
My credit score is better than 72% of the country. That's right, I'm in the upper echelons of the credit world (based on a system of
low/medium/high). Yet, for all intents and purposes, my credit SUCKS!
Guess what else? Those 3 months are also responsible for CONSTANT financial hardship since that time. So, in effect, that short time allowed the
credit demons to put a hurtin on me that I still haven't recovered from. My bills are higher (in most cases), I have deposits that I can't afford,
If I DO get approved for a necessity that payments must be made on, my interest rates almost DOUBLE the cost of the item(s) and I have bank fees that
I would not have if my credit score was higher. I think it would be a loose estimate to say that my monthly expenses are 70% higher now that they
would have been had it not been for that 3 months.
I have been very effectively enslaved by the credit mafia. I played by the rules and they still burnt me the first chance they got and they have been
sticking it to me since then. And I think it's pretty safe to say that they are doing the same to you.
Does anyone else remember that time (not so long ago) when your name and reputation factored into your ability to rent/own a home and car? Now, it
doesn't matter how well known you are. The owner of the Chrysler dealership could have raised you himself, yet, you aren't getting that car unless
that beacon score is high enough to satisfy the loan officers.
3 little numbers have taken almost complete control of our lifes, most especially the necessities of life.
We all need a home and, if you work, a mode of transportation. Yet, you aren't getting either of these unless you have an 800 beacon score of a hell
of a down payment. Not to mention all the little things (power, phone, cable) that go hand in hand with owning/renting a home.
I feel it's pretty safe to say that the conspiracy of credit has been carried out VERY successfully.
There is no avoiding it. Unless you want to live on the streets and risk jail time, harassment and/or death.
Hell, you aren't even free to be self contained. As another member so greatly put it the other day, even if you were to buy your own land, build your
house with your bare hands and provide your own electricity, food and water, you STILL cannot live without credit and/or money. Why? Because you have
to pay the taxes on that property or else the government swoops down and takes your land from you. And, this day in age, money (in any shape or form)
goes hand in hand with credit.
So how exactly do we live in a "free" country again? I suppose we are free to live our lives as we choose, provided we are either rich of have a
credit score of 800 or more. If you don't fall into either of those categories, then there is a 99% chance you too are a slave to credit.
And it's a hole so damn deep most of us will NEVER get out.