Monday, October 03, 2005

Credit Report

I just finished up my free credit report online. Took an hour to apply, read and print all the information. The account summary almost tapped out the paper in the printer. I have apparently been a good All American consumer these past years. Paid my bills on time and stayed in a constant state of debt for over 30 years. This resulted in a credit rating that was way higher than I thought it would be.

I am not sure how to take this. My wife and I have struggled financially for, well forever it seems. And while the bank account is almost bare, lenders are waiting with bated breath to suck us in. We get at least one new credit card offer every day the mail comes. The mortgage folks inundate my email with spam promising low rates on stupid high amounts of money.

And here I sit in clothes 10 years old at a desk bought through surplus 40 years ago on a computer with one leg in the grave. All I have to do to have what the neighbors have is sign up and more money than I know what to do with will be made available. It is a good thing I don't care what the neighbors have. I want nothing to do with boats, long vacations, new cars, another home, or the latest electronic gizmos that pop up everyday. But I would like a new stove. The 40 year old electric one in the kitchen has finally let us know it is time. So, I guess we will have to succumb to the urge to borrow and break out the plastic again.

Who do I credit with this apparent good fortune? Lord knows, I did not have much to do with it. Well, I have not desired much, so that obviously helped. The responsibility for our good standing in Credit World belongs to my wife. She handles all our money. We earn it where we can and she divys it up. With an income status of lower middle class, she has performed magic these last 25 years. Robbing Peter to pay Paul and somehow managed to keep both happy.

I have learned several things about myself running this report. First of all, we have a lot of accounts out there. And knowing that we have been conservative with what we opened, I cannot imagine what the national average is. My account report ran to almost 20 pages. I learned that that Filene account I opened in 1996 is still open. I only opened it to get a better deal on a nice coat for my wife. It has sat dormant ever since, just sitting there waitng for me to drop by.

I also seem to have a Bank card at a bank in Texas. It is close to being maxxed out, but it's history is good. Someone else is paying the bills because I haven't even been near Texas in almost 20 years. But I do appreciate their timely payments on my behalf. It does not appear to be a case of identity theft. But if it is, the perp is some considerate.

All in all, a good report. We have borrowed enough and paid back enough to rate a high score. We have done our part to keep the machine well oiled and running smoothly. I almost feel like a patriot. Is that a hint of a tear in my eye? Where's my flag? I feel the urge to do some waving.