I can’t wait to take on more debt….sike!!!!

So I received a free 9 month credit monitoring package from TransUnion as part of some class action lawsuit I was unknowingly involved in. I have to say, having the ability to access my credit report whenever the heck I want is pretty dang convenient. I still don’t think I’d pay the $12/month the credit monitoring regularly costs, but I could see why some people might.

As I was poking around and exploring all my credit details, I stumbled upon my credit score. Here’s what I saw…

Cool. My credit score isn’t crazy high by any means, but it’s probably not too shabby compared to most other 24 year old males. I got a good chuckle out of the next section titled “Ways to improve your credit score.” Here was their suggestions…

Okay bucko, I’m on to your clever tricks. You want me to get in more debt. Well I got two words for you… Suck it!!!

I love that the first piece of advice suggests that I do not have enough revolving debt. Apparently my $16,000 student loan debt isn’t sufficient.Their solution? Go take out a bank loan, an auto loan, a business loan, and maybe finance some plastic surgery. Surely then, my credit score will increase! Think about it, I can go rack up a good $30K in debt to raise my, already good, credit score a few points higher. Where do I sign up!?

The second recommendation kind of shocked me. I knew multiple credit accounts helped boost your credit score (see point one), but I never really thought I would be told I needed MORE credit cards! Like I said, I’m 24. I already have three CCs (all with zero balances). Do I really need to go sign up for another two or three just to give my credit score an artificial bump? Hell to the No I don’t.

There really isn’t much I can do about the third recommendation. I’ve only been legally allowed to have a credit card for six years, but apparently that isn’t good enough for the credit score gods. Perhaps I should have considered illegally applying for a credit card when I was 8 years old so I had a “longer” credit history. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I have no plans in the immediate future to accumulate any more debt or open any new credit accounts. I guess this means I will never break the 800’s as far as my credit score is concerned. Sure having a good credit score is important, but there is no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks I am willing to take on stupid debt just to do it. I’d rather have $50K in the bank and a 760 credit score than$50K in debt with an 820.

Have you ever had experience with a credit monitoring program? Do you know your credit score? Do people actually follow this crappy advice? Has anyone out there ever actually accumulated debt simply for the sake of improving their credit?

20 thoughts on “I can’t wait to take on more debt….sike!!!!

  1. As a good friend of mine put it – "A high FICO score results not merely from being a good credit risk, but above all from being a good credit *consumer*. A FICO score is a "good slave" index. The higher it is, the more you have demonstrated yourself a willing and productive slave."

  2. I just noticed that the advice is even worse than originally thought – the wording for tips #1 and #2 is exactly the same.

    The only advice I ever listen to on those is the length of credit tip, which means I make sure to keep my oldest CC account open. I've closed down a few others along the way that pissed me off (with annual fees or poor customer service).

    In general, I avoid playing the "just the tips" game. I've been paying down massive amounts of debt, and have yet to see any kind of increase in my credit score. That's just fine with me. Like Jake posted above, I'd rather be smart with my money than a good consumer.

    • Wow, you are right, The wording for #1 and #2 is EXACTLY the same. It must have been a late night cause I didn't even catch that when I wrote the post. They must REALLY REALLY REALLY want me to open up more CC accounts…haha

      • It's even more fun than that. In #1 and 2 they tell you to open a new account to strengthen your credit report. In #3 they tell you that opening new accounts can cause your credit to appear unstable.

  3. Jake's comment in right on. And I also noticed that the advice section for #1 and #2 was exactly the same.

    Honestly, I think you'll get into "Very Good" just by getting older and doing what you're doing. You charge your card with every purchase and pay it off, so I think you're fine.

  4. FYI – revolving debt = CCs or Lines Of Credit, since you can add charges & pay off charges & do over…i.e., a revolving door o' debt! Auto or Student loans are generally installment accounts, since you pay the debt in fixed installments over time, without adding to the balance (except if you defer your SLs). Funny that the advice (word used very loosely!) suggests getting 'premium' credit cards = major bank plastic (Wells Fargo, BOA, Amex) – so no more Discover, Orchard Bank or HSBC for you, LOSER!! (kidding!)

    Love your two word response. I wish I could use that phrase more frequently in everyday conversation, but alas, I'm surrounded by fragile flowers who would take offense…SUCK IT!

  5. I was in the TransUnion suit too, and i thought that seeing my score for free was totally awesome, and then I found CreditKarma.com, which does the same thing.

    I'm gonna plug this site because it's neat. CreditKarma.com lets you see your score, your report (I think they use the Transunion model too), the same useless tips, etc for free, and then they throw various credit card offers at you to make their money, same as Mint. (The offers are actually worth looking at if you are in the market for a new card, which I'm not.)

  6. Actually, Nick, CreditKarma doesn't let you see your actual report. They just pull a bunch of information from it. And they use the Transunion model because they're from Transunion.

  7. I was able to view my credit score through a credit monitoring program through Citi. I cancelled that mess as soon as I previewed and printed every bit of data regarding my credit and credit score. I'm pretty excited about my credit score and am taking their advice so I can break into the 800s!

  8. I use a credit monitoring service but only because I am still getting hit with debts that I lost track of years ago. I have horrible credit (it was down to 360 at it's lowest; the lowest possible is 300) but my ex-husband and I bought a car together, when we were married of course, and we were always current on it (until we split and then it was a battle). Then last year, I opened a very low limit credit card and have always paid more than the minimum on it. I make a point to use it several times a month and then pay as much as possible on it. The bad thing about it was that it is a fee-based card so it started out with a $150 balance that I had to pay off. So, yes, I opened a credit card just to improve my score.

    Otherwise, the advice they give is either common sense or total crap. FYI, having a perfect credit rating is not as great as you would think. Financial institutions want to know that they will make at least a little money off of you and people with an 800-850 score don't generally make them much money.

  9. I wouldn't worry about any of this. Just keep paying bills on time and in full. Your score is good enough to get good financing rates for car or home purchases, which is all that really matters.

  10. There is a way to piggy back off of your parents to increase your length of your credit history. If you are an authorized card holder on an account, you get the history that comes along with the account. I know that it used to be the case that as soon as you were put on it you accumulated all of the history, but they caught on. Now you have to be a card holder for a period of time before you get the benefits.

    I got my score a few months ago when I was considering buying a condo, and found out that as a 24 year old I have about 30 years of credit history. My parents added me to their accounts as soon as they could, and taught me how to be responsible with a credit card from a young age.

    This only works if you have responsible parents who are in a comfortable financial position. Because along with the length of credit history, also comes the debt which could hurt your credit ratio and the missed payments which make you unreliable.

  11. hah! was just looking at creditkarma this morning and they told me that the only thing that's keeping my credit score from true and shining perfection (okay, they phrase it differently) is that i have only had 19 different accounts over my lifetime. it's a mix of student loans, a car loan, etc., etc. and i was like, holy crap, i've had 19! that's insanity! and i looked at their chart, and they say i'd need – i'm not kidding – in the range of *41* accounts over my lifetime to pull up that one part of my credit report card from a D. otherwise, straight A's.

    and so, like you, i say suck it.

  12. I also love the fact that if you don't have adequate credit you get a bad score. If you are not a credit consumer then you can't be a good credit risk. The problem is that most people are reliant on banks in big ways such as cars, houses and businesses. How else do you get access to that kind of money? Is it right? Doesn't matter whether it is or not, it's the way it is and you have to adjust not them.

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