10 Places You Don’t Need A Good Credit Score

by Ron Haynes

A couple of years back, there was a “Free Credit Report” ad blitz that had some catchy tunes and musicians singing about the benefits of a good credit score … and how depressing a bad credit score could be.

I was gettin’ depressed cause of all the stress I was feeling at home.
Had a poor credit score and the number would haunt me wherever I’d go.
But I moved to a place where my credit could stink and nobody would care.
I just wish that somebody had told me that place was a Renaissance Fair.
Free Credit Report dot com
Tell your friends, tell your Dad, tell your Mom.
Never mind they’ve been singing our song
Since we first showed up with our pirate hats on.
If you’re not into fake sword fights,
Pointy slippers or green, wool tights,
Take a tip from a knight who knows,
Free Credit Report dot com, Let’s Go!

It was a catchy tune. But had very little truth to it.

First, the credit report isn’t free, it’s included in a package you have to pay to receive (offer good with enrollment in Blah-Blah program). To get the REAL free credit report, go to annualcreditreport.com. That one is the real deal.

Second, since when did a “poor credit score haunt you wherever you go?”

You’re a person, not a number

As important as your credit score may be, you are more than just a computation based on an algorithm in some computer that analyzes your ability to pay your credit accounts.

There are lots of places where a poor credit score doesn’t haunt you. As a matter of fact, at these places probably no one cares if your score is 395 or 819.

1. In your backyard as you throw a Frisbee or baseball with your son. He’s just glad to be with you.
2. On an evening walk, hand in hand with your spouse or significant other. He or she would prefer to just talk and connect.
3. On your sofa as your baby daughter coos and giggles when you tickle her toes.
4. Down at the food bank when you help distribute meals to hungry families. That family doesn’t care if you were 4 days late on your credit card bill.
5. In the hospital as you go to give comfort to a person fighting cancer. Nope, it doesn’t matter here either.
6. In your church or synagogue as you volunteer to help the elderly. They’re just glad to not be forgotten.
7. At the local school, as you volunteer to help make props or costumes for the Spring Musical. Kids spell love T-I-M-E.
8. At a friend’s home, where you took them a meal as the mom recovered from surgery. Everyone appreciates a lovingly prepared, home cooked meal.
9. At the little old lady next door’s home, where you voluntarily trimmed her shrubs and maybe even mowed her yard. She’s been too embarrassed to ask for help.
10. At work, where you picked up a co-worker’s shift so he or she could attend an important family event. Spread a little love to their whole family!

Your credit score is important if you plan to use credit in the future. Even if you don’t care what your credit score is, you DO need to remain concerned about the legacy you leave behind when it comes to the people you’ve touched.

You’ll never find a tombstone that reads:
Tombstone

It’s important to pay your bills as part of your legacy. You certainly don’t want the words “deadbeat” to be inscribed (or spray painted) on your tombstone, but once again, we’ve managed to get out of balance with our thinking when it comes to achieving or maintaining a good score. We’ve elevated it to the point that it’s far too important. Personal finance gurus (like the fake blonde on PBS and CNBC that wears the fashionable trench coat) seem to think that your credit report or credit score is one of the most important assets in your life. Though your credit score is very important, I don’t subscribe to the theory that it’s as critical as advertised (get your REAL score at myFICO.com). I’d rather pay my bills in full and go play with my kids rather than worry about some artificially generated number. A good score does have value, but to think that it “haunts you” wherever you go is just a bunch of hype.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 996 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 9 comments }

The Weakonomist

Nice post. The obsession with ones credit score is getting out of hand in my opinion. The PF blogs that talk about it every week don’t help matters much either. As a bank employee I can also say we’re more concerned with your debt/income ratio than your credit score based on an index we didn’t create.

Nicki at Domestic Cents

Great post. I don’t plan on using credit in the future either. I have seen how frightened people can become if their credit score drops just a few points or if they don’t think they are maximizing their potential (no mortgage). While paying on time and honoring your commitments is important, you shouldn’t be in bondage to a number.

TParkerson

Thanks Ron for the important reminder…although I love the freecreditreport.com songs and always sing along!!

I agree that it is important to leave a legacy but like you, am more concerned that it be one of love, warmth and joy. I am more than a number, be it stellar or bruised, or than any other artificial category invented to manipulate the data!

My beloved children (and grands!) don’t have a clue what my number is but they will all tell you that Mome’ / Meme’ will drop ANYTHING to be there for them…that she always has a smile and a hug, and usually cookies too! That her house is always the “fun” house on the block with lots to do and huge laughter. I could go on but you get the idea…I may not always do the numbers thing right but my people things are always right on!!

A great line from Jerry Mundis’ “Get out of Debt….” that puts it all in perspective, I think, is that credit scores are only for people who want to continue to be in debt. Maybe a little simplistic, but in the spirit of financial freedom…if you have it, you can be much less susceptible to artifically created numbers that don’t add value to your legacy!

Have a glorious day…we are among the most blessed! Time’

LP

I’m just glad you wrote about this. Our culture has a way of seeping in on our lives. Mostly by media….just don’t let it. Good article by the way!

Lise

It’s a shame that site has such catchy advertising, when it’s such a gimmick. Clearly annualcreditreport.com needs to catch on ;)

I’m also irked by the ads I hear that confuse a credit report with a credit score… there’s one I hear on the radio quite frequently.

Jeff@MySuperChargedLife

Ron – Love this post! Thankfully, there are still plenty of places where your credit score does NOT matter. Real life doesn’t take Visa or Mastercard!

stewardshipjourney

The interesting thing to me about that commercial is that it’s not like going to freecreditreport.com will actually help you improve your score. You just pay them money and they tell you what it is. As a financial planner, I’m amazed at how many people come through the doors having no clue what a credit score is or how to build one. Just a couple of weeks ago a guy asked me if he should get a credit card and then be late a couple of times on his payment to help build his score! Credit isn’t bad, but it sure is dangerous.
Thanks for the reminder about what’s really important – none of them have to do a lick with money!

Larry Jones

If Dave Ramsey can have a credit score of “0″ and be incredibly wealthy and successful, I figure I can too.

My wife and I became debt free almost 2 years ago, and I haven’t even checked our score since, because we don’t do debt anymore.

There’s probably a lot of people out there who have good FICO scores, but if you really dug into their actual finances, they are on shaky ground.

It’s time for America to stop worshiping at the altar of the great FICO.

susan

I 100% agree! I do not know or care what my credit score is. My father taught me at a young age “if you don’t have the money-you don’t need it.” I’m only 40 and I have my house and 2 cars paid off. Now, I am not a slave to a paycheck. I can spend my time being a good mom, and a good servant. I am so disheartened at what our media has done to our society! Turn on the TV, you see perfect homes, faces, bodies, etc. Do you see anybody work? None of it is realistic.
My husband is in construction. He has built beautiful homes. He has gone back 2-4 years later, these homes have sheets on the windows and no furniture. They can’t afford anything but the house payment. I would rather have affordable 4 walls (thats what they are) and be able to decorate, entertain, still have a life. It is a disjustice what we are doing to-or teaching-our next generation. My parents are from the depression era and they taught me so many important lessons. Most importantly, how to really care about yourself, your family, your neighbors, and the rest of the world. I believe this all goes further than just money. Our nation has become so shallow! Shallow with sex, money, drugs, all of it.
There is a movement toward getting back to basics and what is really important. It is a much happier, more satisfying life. It doesn’t matter what others think of you. There is only one judge! It is not me, and it is not you. We shoud start boycotting media sources that show such shallow behaviors. If nobody supported it, it would change. We as consumers have alot of power. Start using it wisely!

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