I was turned down for an American Express card. Repeatedly.
I have plenty of money and, when I enquired about my “credit score” I found it in the 700’s which they say is quite good. So why was I turned down? Well, I don’t have any recent credit history. It seems you have to owe money to be thought of as a good borrower. But I did not want to borrow, I just wanted a card so I could use it as a money substitute. And that seems to be the problem.
I didn’t really want to borrow money from them. So they turned me down. I was bemused and perplexed. Now I am thinking that failing the credit game is a virtue.
A few reasons: This “credit score” thing seems to resemble the discredited “IQ score” and “SAT score” as measures of worth or worthiness. Maybe we can fast-track this one into the dustbins with phrenology.
I sat next to a woman on a plane as we flew to Florida. She was sick because she was living in a house with poisoned wallboards from China, that had a mortgage for more than it was worth. I asked why she did not just give the keys back to the bank and leave, and she said: she was suing the builder and that might turn out good (she said she would repair the house by taking out all the walls), and besides if she turned in the keys and lived in a cheaper house or apartment, she would “ruin her credit score.” Something seems wrong.
Another example. Great New York Times piece on our paying for services that were mostly done by friends or common sense: The Outsourced Life by Arlie Russell Hochschild May 5, 2012. We seem to have injected commerce into almost everything.
So, what if we fail at the Credit Game? Well, people will not extend you credit. Isn’t not being in debt a good thing? As more people turn from credit cards to debit cards and forgo the month interest payments, maybe we should celebrate those that just don’t play the game.
So I am credit free, and loving it.