Taking Credit

24 03 2010

We’ve all heard this lecture before from our parents: Spend your money wisely, and don’t go into debt. Much easier said than done, but we know that there are repercussions if we violate the rule. Our credit rating will suffer. And this is something that afflicts adults of all ages without discrimination.

So important is our credit rating that insurance agencies use it as a measure of insurability. In other words, you will probably experience the negative correlation that can occur between credit rating (low) and rates (high). It’s like saying because you cannot handle credit well, you will probably have lots of accidents and make lots of claims.

But could it also be possible that your social networking activity might also affect your credit rating? In other words, how you tweet and facebook could be ruining your credit score, and thereby affecting not just your insurance rates, but also your ability to borrow money for a car or house.

Worse yet, even who you list as your friends and followers can affect your credit rating.

How’s that again?

Yes, if you are friends with a bunch of low-lifes who have lousy credit scores, the assumption is that birds of a feather flock together. You had better start trading up in the friendship category, in hopes that your aspiration group could have a positive influence on this all-important statistic.

Now here’s what I think: This stinks. It’s bad enough that my propensity to crumple fenders is somehow related to my ability to pay off debt in a timely fashion (which I do, thank you very much). What’s really bad is the guilt-by-association thing. Mt Twitter and Facebook friends are two very different groups, partially by virtue of the fact that total strangers can follow you on Twitter just because they like what you’re saying. But to accuse me of mingling with people of poor economic repute, and thereby assuming I am of similar stature, is just plain hooey. And there oughta be a law.

I have cultivated my Facebook friends like you might peel an onion, selectively going back 2-4 years at a time through my life and finding old friends and acquaintances. And, yes, I have not seen many of these people in 30 or more years. I have no idea what their creditworthiness might be, nor do I care (hmmm…maybe there should be a questionnaire before I accept their friendship offer?). They could all be credit scofflaws of the highest degree, and I wouldn’t be any the wiser.

In the mean time, pick your friends wisely. You may be living in a dumpster if you’re not real careful.

Dr “Can I See Your FICO Score, Please?” Gerlich



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