Recently, a friend complained about her credit card bill. Some of the items weren’t hers and her spending partner isn’t going to pay. What interested me more was why she had a credit card in the first place. She had the money to buy the perfumes in question many times over.
Curious, I asked. “To keep a good credit rating.” Why? Mid-sixties, she’s a homeowner who doesn’t drive, has money and won’t need to guarantee any loans for others. What does her credit rating matter?
Years back I had tens of thousands of debt, and a superb credit score. I always made my payments, extendable credit was always an option. Now – I have virtually none. Just a mortgage and the balance of my ultra low interest student loan. And… my credit score is now worse! Just think about that for a second; my situation is better but my score is worse. This is the clearest sign of the debt disease.
The system needs you to be buying before you can afford it, paying exorbitant interest, to prop itself up. And when you start to feel uncomfortable, then comes the magical solution: one loan to consolidate all your other debts, with more interest to pay on that!
My friend’s concern about credit scores reveals a compulsive, unthinking desperation for credit to be on tap, even when it’s unnecessary, and bad for us.
There is no good debt. It obligates us to work jobs we don’t enjoy, missing time with our children, even to stay in bad relationships for fear of drowning alone – I spent five years in this one.
If debt is a disease, health is found in understanding that we can live happier, freer lives without (an excess of) debt, because, simply put, we can.