Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's Your Credit Score?

Listening to the radio this morning and one of the DJ's said that when you are dating someone you should ask what their credit score is and base whether or not they are a viable dating candidate on that. I laughed. For real? I should decide whether or not I want to date you on your credit? I'll pass on that being an indicating factor as to whether or not you're a good person to date.

Problem #1 with that deal breaker

If you come from a wealthy family, your credit score will 9 times out of 10 be immaculate. Wealthy families usually look out for their own so you don't have time to damage your credit like most people do at a young age. I have several guy friends who have maintained a credit score of 700 or higher because their parents have told them they didn't need credit cards; if they needed something, let them know and they would make sure it was taken care of. They have never had eviction notices because that part of life was taken care of too. If your apartment/house is in your parents name and they have good credit scores, guess who else is going to have a good credit score? You. Where is the problem? That doesn't make you a good candidate to date. Just means that you haven't had a chance to eff your credit up because you've been shielded from most things that open that window to have torn up credit. Good credit, in this case is not a determining factor of how "good" of a person you are.

Problem #2 with that deal breaker

Say you don't come from a family of wealth or even a family that looks out for each other financially as much as possible. You will more than likely go on to become someone who has a booboo on their credit at some point in your life. Venturing away from the nest and forming a spirit of independence sometimes will do that. That isn't to say that everyone who leaves home effs off their credit; because everyone doesn't. But a LOT of people do...and they do it most of the time when they are between the ages of 18 and 25. My father set the example of how to maintain good credit since he was a teenager...he paid for everything with cash and for a long time refused to have a bank account. If he didn't have the money to buy it, he would save or just chalk it up to not needing it at all. My mother convinced him to finally get a bank account because they do come in handy. As he got older he realized that not having ANY credit was just as bad as having BAD credit. So there were instances he allowed himself to be inducted into the system...car note...mortgage...a couple of credit cards (which he paid the entire balance off when the bill came). He was able to maintain A-1 credit.

Now, I had the perfect example to follow...did I? Not so much. I needed money and bad when I left home at 16 so as soon as I could get a credit card, I did. All I ever knew was my dad telling me "Stay away from them". I never really knew why. I found out REAL quick. That was between the ages of 19 and 21. I pretty much killed my credit score in a matter of 2 years. I'll be 30 this year and I am STILL cleaning up shat I did to myself over 10 years ago. That myth that everything will drop off after 7-10 years...yes, it's a myth. It might drop off but collectors have some psychotic way of making it appear again out of the blue.

So does my sorry azz credit score mean I am a liability to a relationship? HARDLY. I will eat water soup before my rent, car note, utilities, cell phone, and loans are late or unpaid. I have been like this since I was 20 years old. Has that improved my credit? Nope. Why? Because the credit bureau is the devil. It WILL improve but at a pace slower than a turtle high on shotguns. It isn't as horrible as it was 5 years ago but it isn't anywhere near a 700. Do I feel I need to explain that to ANYONE I've just started dating? Hell and no. So if they don't want to date me because of something I did when I was 19, fine. Be gone.

Problem #3 with that deal breaker

They show you that the best credit score you can have is an 850...there is a small percentile of individuals who can even get that score and most of them work for the government. So if you are looking for someone with that score, don't beat yourself up if you don't find that person. In most circles, they are about as real as a unicorn. I'm being sarcastic but you show me 10 people you know with a credit score of 850 and I'll take you AND them out to dinner because they are obviously doing something I need to learn from. The credit score deal breaker should be done on a case by case basis and judging someone by it is about as silly as a man saying a woman has to have long hair in order for him to date her.  There are women with long hair out there but do they have EVERYTHING else you desire in a siggy other? And what about the women with shorter hair that have EVERYTHING you want BUT long hair? She can grow her hair or get a bangin weave...just like people can and do fix their credit...

So point is, asking someone in the beginning stages of dating what their credit score is and then basing whether or not you'd talk to them from that point forward is dumb as hell.

9 points of view:

a black girl who did date said...

I had a guy ask me that, but our relationship was more like a business transaction. As you can see, that did not work out.

Mista Jaycee said...

Once again, some good advice has been distorted. Originally Pastors used to say Hey! Most marriages break up over financial matters, including honesty concerning financial matters and temperence. How you deal with your bills may point to a lack of temperence. Can you control your urges? Your desires for what you want? Do you know the difference between a want and a need? That's what it was meant to address. Pastors were saying if she or he have no control over themselves it's gonna show up in their lives and it will affect you. Sorta like that apple don't fall far from the tree. Dig?
Thanks for writing a great piece.

Assertive Wit said...

@ Mista Jaycee: you kind of confused me with your comment LOL I was trying to figure out if you were saying I distorted the advice or the DJ on the radio...

as for the Pastors telling folks that most marriages break up over financial matters, I can see some truth in that but you can pretty much see how people deal with money while you are dating them so I think as far as dating, if you don't see yourself as the person who is responsible for the money once you get married, you'd have to make sure you marry someone who is smart with finances and actually practices what they've learned in their life even before they marry you. For some, that goes without saying...for others, they have to learn the hard way. Kind of like people who tear up their credit...I learned the hard way for sure LOL

The Incomparable Bozack Jenkins™ said...

The fuck? I would never get a date EVER.

Simply Me said...

Its funny, because this is just like saying, "Oh I cant date him because he has an X amount of debt in student loans." I think that is silly, like yes if and when you get married, his debt is your debt, but I consider student loans as an investment. Yes loans are a lot of money, but as long as that person is handling that correct, then whats the problem???

NaturallyAlise said...

My last relationship my guy was all obsessive about my financial matters, and very judgmental about it (my credit report had blemishes similar to your situation), but in the end it turned out he was in worse shape than I was, and was projecting I suppose.... but that was a sidebar, lol, I am in total agreement with the points you presented in this post!

Mista Jaycee said...

I was saying the DJ distorted it and how preachers birthed that distortion by not following up on why they made that statement. I wasn't talking about your take I dug the post!

Assertive Wit said...

@Mista Jaycee: I know you dug it LOL I was just confused about the beginning of your comment...I understand what you were saying now.

Lil Honey B said...

WOW. I don't think it is fair to judge someone based on credit. What if you had $25,000 in medical bills? IDK about you, but I don't have $25,000 to dish out, so if need be, they would have to put that ish on my credit. It doens't mean that I am financailly irresponsible.

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