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Would you call off your wedding if you just found out your partner was deeply in debt? How about if he missed a couple of credit card payments and now has a black mark on his credit report?
It’s an uncomfortable question, and the answer you get depends on the person you ask — and the depth of the financial damage, according to a recent study by TD Ameritrade.
What is the value of good credit? If you’re like the majority of Americans who rely on having good credit scores to help smooth the way when you buy a car, get a mortgage or apply for other types of loans, a high credit score is vitally important.
A conversation with someone at a dinner party over the weekend and recent comments from a friend makes me wonder whether the number of people who don’t value good credit is growing.
The person at the dinner party proudly revealed that he doesn’t have any credit cards (he uses debit cards if he has to book an airline flight) and pays cash for everything, including cars. He says the last time he checked his credit score was several years ago and it was 540 back then.
For a small and maybe growing number of people like him, maintaining good credit does not make good sense.
I told him I thought he was definitely in the minority in the country because the rest of us (me included) want to be able to borrow if we need it. Since I’m not independently wealthy with my own unlimited stash of cash, I have to rely on banks to finance big-ticket items. Those banks use credit ratings to weed out the good versus bad credit risks among us. I don’t make the rules, but I’m forced to play by them because I’m not wealthy.