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  • Writer's pictureClay Murray

Is no credit good credit?

I will never claim to be a credit expert. If you need to speak to one, let me know and I’ll get you in contact with someone immediately. I’m not even sure the title actually exists, but I do have pretty good credit and I wouldn’t say it was terribly hard to achieve. By no means do I take the designation lightly and I completely believe I’m blessed to have been able to avoid any catastrophes causing major financial strains, but it took a couple years to realize the importance of it all.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and about her daughter who recently graduated college. Long story short, this well-accomplished, supremely-qualified young woman was embarking on the next steps in life. She had recently earned herself a job offer in her field and would be nicely compensated for her efforts. My friend and I talked more and realized that although she had this wonderful daughter who had this exciting job on the way, her daughter didn’t have any real credit. It wasn’t that she had “BAD” credit, it’s just that she had never had a credit card, a loan, or anything of that nature to help establish credit.

Her circumstances reminded me of when I graduated from college. Without my complete understanding, my mom encouraged me, and literally drove me to a local credit union where she watched as I applied for and qualified for my very own personal loan. The amount of the loan was $4,000, and I didn’t really need the money for anything important. I would’ve been fine just living paycheck to paycheck. More than anything it was a way for me to positively build my credit after not really having any true credit to call my very own. Sure, my name was on a credit card with my parents throughout college (which might have helped my credit since we paid the bills on time), but this was my mom’s way of introducing me to the new school I was entering after graduating college. The school of life. And it helped me immensely. Knowing that I needed to pay the loan off on time, within the agreed upon monthly payments, I learned to respect dates, budgeting, saving, and financial institutions by doing all I could to get good “grades” on my first loan. I didn’t want to fail at this first test of the “real” real world. It was both a learning experience for me and a tangible way to get me started on the right track as a financially-independent young man.

Now, we all know that credit is one of, if not THE way for us to be “judged” by the powers that be. We live in a society that works to constantly level the playing field between humans, whether it be based on race, age, sex, nationality, religion, physical abilities, etc. But the one thing that we can be singled out on is our credit. And that’s just the way it is! It’s not a bad thing though. Quite the contrary — it supports those who are financially responsible and it makes it clearer whether someone is qualified to take on a new financial commitment. I can’t stress it enough to all of you reading this: whether you have children who are entering the wild world of independence after high school or college, or if you are sitting there reading this and wondering what’s next in the quest to become an ADULT, please be aware of both the power of good credit and the shackles of bad credit. Sure, life will come flying at you and medical bills can be one of the most damning thing to happen to your credit, but even if that happens, don’t stop caring about it. Don’t give up. Your credit follows you. I’d say it’s almost like your very own financial fingerprint. It will go with you wherever you go, whatever you do. And good credit will be vital when trying to qualify for your first mortgage as you buy your first home.

Get to know it and understand what you can do to improve it if need be.

To monitor it, learn what it means, and be vigilant, you can visit the site, to view free reports of all three credit bureaus. I use the site with my clients when we need to see how things stand. It gives you clear understanding what might be negatively affecting your credit.

Well, not really sure where this post came from, I guess I’m feeling like lecturing due to just celebrating my first father’s day! Ha! Anyway, if you have any questions or ideas, please let me know! And always remember, “Clay can help!”

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