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Debt and consequence

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Aug. 4th, 2008 | 09:46 pm
mood: speculative

Sometimes I do find myself wondering what sort of state I might be in had I taken advantage of all of the assorted credit opportunities that I could have.

To be fair I have never been bombarded with offers of credit. In the UK I actually had to fight to get a credit card at all, for some reason, I suppose because I didn't take one out when I was a student. In the US, well, you can't actually turn on a TV or open a newspaper or go into any major chain store without having offers of credit made, but I couldn't have taken any of them up on it anyway. (This is a useful way to get rid of persistent sales staff by the way - "sorry, I can't get your store card, I'm not a citizen and have no credit record". Sometimes they still offer to run you through the system, in which case you might want to add "and I have drugs convictions and am wanted for genocide".)

However, I'm quite well aware that I could have taken up lots of credit if I'd put my mind to it. It doesn't come naturally to me. I have even paid off my student loan in full, now, I do not owe anyone anything. It's just that, apart from a few computers and some furniture from Staples, I don't own anything either, and possession is nine tenths of the law isn't it? Perhaps not, officially, nine tenths, but the difference between having a car/house/etc on tick vs not having a car/house/etc and not being in debt is that, in the former case, you have a car/house/etc, at least for as long as you can keep the bailiffs off it.

I mean, it is not as if my financial prudence has actually enabled me to do any more than I otherwise would have. You can't buy a house without getting into debt, unless you are fabulously rich; what this means is that, really, you can't buy a house, you only have a choice of rental arrangements, some of which are longer term and don't involve some bloody estate agent coming round every now and then to see if you've cleaned the shower.

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Comments {4}


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from: marnanel
date: Aug. 4th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)

The INS actually suggested Fin and I should have had shared debt as proof we were a couple. So we went to buy something on credit in order to get this. But of course I had no credit rating at all ever. The way to do it is to go to Rent-a-Center, who will probably even rent to zombies, and get something you pay for at $10/month, like a dishwasher. Then you have shared debt.

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The Princess of Id

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from: danaseilhan
date: Aug. 5th, 2008 09:02 am (UTC)

Their response to the genocide comment probably would have been "Sign right here." It is America, after all.

You're lucky you never took on a lot of debt. Although at least if you had, you probably would have been prudent about it and paid it off.

Here in the States our credit scoring system is such that you pretty much have to take on debt here and there if you want to have a good FICO score. So some financial gurus are responding with a nicer version of "fuck FICO," thereby screwing over the people following them. It seems insurance companies also look at your FICO score and set your premiums accordingly. Whoops.

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Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

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from: cleanskies
date: Aug. 5th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)

"I mean, it is not as if my financial prudence has actually enabled me to do any more than I otherwise would have."


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from: soho_iced
date: Aug. 5th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)

For some reason a mortgage doesn't seem to count socially as debt, more as some sort of badge of financial respectability, which makes me giggle hysterically but helps to counterbalance the wierd feeling when getting my annual statement to cheerfully inform me I now owe the bank *slightly less than a hundred thousand pounds*.

Well, I suppose have more license for anti-social behaviour (like, for example prolonged opera singing) if you own your place rather than renting, but you also have to worry about the boiler, so it's all swings and roundabouts.

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