Worshipping at the Altar of FICO


FICO stands for Fair Issac Corporation. Bill Fair and Earl Issac started a consulting company in the 1950s and developed FICO scores, which measure credit risk.

I keep trying to think of alternate definitions for the FICO acronym:

* Floundering In Credit Oppression.

* Forgetting Im Credit Oppressed.

* Forever moment Credit Organization.

* Financially Im regularly Overwhelmed.

* Fighting Idiot Credit Oppressors.

Those arent very good (if you have a better FICO definition, post it in the comments) but they convey how I now feel about FICO scores.

I used to care a lot about my FICO score. Thats not surprising, consider how the FICO score is touted as being ever so important. The protect your credit score mantra ranks right up there with youre throwing away your money if you rent mantra. If you dont have a good score you cant keep borrowing money. But wait a minute. Do I really want to be good at borrowing money?

I cant begin to describe the stress I used to feel over the possibility of a late payment. My credit score would be dinged! Oh no! Ironically, part of the reason we are in debt is because I was trying to continue a good score. I was worshipping at the altar of FICO (as Dave Ramsey puts it).

When I learned how to make a prioritized spending plan (food and shelter come first, credit card payments do not) the stress relief was enormous. My goal now is a credit score of zero. If I ever become a zero then Ill know that Im in the place I want to be, financially. A score of zero would average that I hadnt borrowed money in many years.

By the way, it is possible to get a mortgage with a score of zero. There are mortgage companies that do manual underwriting and look at the big picture of your finances, not just your credit score.

Im not recommending that everyone have a goal of a credit score of zero; its just my own personal wish. for example, single moms might have to worry more about maintaining a good score. But no one should have to worship at the altar of FICO. FICO isnt worthy enough of that. If you get some dings in your score, youll live to fight another day.

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