It’s official. I look like a 21 year old. Well, on paper at least. Today, I checked my credit score, and have finally achieved one that will allow me to get a cellphone contract. Or a car loan, which frankly is a relief, because nobody looks good in a bike helmet..
Please don’t judge me. I keep a monthly spreadsheet, have fortnightly meetings with a financial advisor, have an annual spending plan, and a spotless payment history. So where, I hear you ask, did I go wrong.
I moved. Simple as that. After twelve years of gainful employment, paying a mortgage, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook and building an excellent credit history, I moved abroad and became a nobody. In Kenya, cash was king, cell phones were pay as you go and the Forex people were very flexible, so all was well. But enter the US, and the rot starts to set in.
Here, the idea of someone entering the credit system at the geriatric age of 35 is deeply suspicious, and tantamount to treason. This is, after all, the home of the 24 hour mall and more shopping channels than you can shake a stick at, all offering zero down and easy payment terms.
Just not for me.
I had to put $800 deposit down just to be allowed a cellphone that wasn’t pay as you go, and don’t even get me started on what a zero credit rating does to your car insurance rates. I did, however, get issued with a fuel card by the Other Half’s employer, with the dizzying credit limit of… $300. I have to pay it off twice a month just to stay on the road.
But not anymore.. The world is now my oyster, and I can finally apply for a credit card without risk of rejection. But I have to choose carefully, because I only get one chance. You see, applying for a credit card reduces your credit score, so once I do, it’s back to credit oblivion…