Surviving With Bad Credit or No Credit

These days, your credit score can affect more than just your ability to get a home loan. A bad credit report can drive up your insurance premiums, cost you a business loan and possibly ruin a job opportunity.

But not everyone makes credit king. In fact, FICO, the company that came up with the model used to determine one’s credit score and dependability, estimated that 20 million to 25 million Americans have little to no credit score on file. Another 30 million to 35 million have poor credit ratings. This means that more than 50 million Americans have to get by each day without much access to credit.

For some folks, this is a conscious choice, based on a belief that credit cards create more problems than they solve.

“I am against the use of credit cards,” New York resident Scott Gamm told MainStreet. “Credit cards allow us to spend money frivolously. By not using credit cards, you don't have to worry about late fees, inactivity fees, high credit card interest rates and, most importantly, accruing debt.”

Other readers agree.

“Businesses and banks keep pushing their credit cards, but I tell them it is a form of slavery,” California resident Phyllis Shamoon wrote on MainStreet’s page. “I have notices posted at the bank, phone co. and cable to not offer me anything. If I want it, I will ask what they have.”

For others, a creditless life is the product of one or more financial missteps. California resident Tanya Payne saw her credit score plummet after she lost her job and, as a result, was evicted from an apartment. 

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