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:
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.