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A nice perk to being retired..Who cares about credit scores anymore !!
Old 01-02-2020, 09:07 AM   #1
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A nice perk to being retired..Who cares about credit scores anymore !!

One of the nice perks about being retired and in good financial shape is being able to stop the insane worship and the chase of a credit score. All of our credit files are frozen ( permanently if possible) , we are at the point where we only pay cash for cars, can't see any need for any new mortgage . Our next move will be to the old folks home. Without any foreseeable need for any new credit I just cant see the need to even care about the magic number.
I recently had the usual stealth bogus medical charge , less than $1000, over a fully covered procedure from TWO years ago that some debt collector called me about. Of course I told them to stuff it where the sun doesn't shine , prove it ( which they claimed they didn't have to !!) etc... When it got to the threats about reporting me to the credit nazis I simply said I couldn't care less. It felt so good. Why should I care ?
Am I missing something ? What use is a credit score for someone who is done playing the credit game ? I know a few guys who have NO credit score , kinda like Dave Ramsey, and it hasn't really caused them any grief. They pay cash.
Any opinions or advise ?
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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No real comment other than, you got it. It just doesn’t matter at this point. The only reason I check my credit situation is to look for any identity theft issues since I haven’t gotten around to locking my credit down yet. Got a couple of credit cards it 2019 (Apple and finally a Costco), so now I think I’m done with any need for credit checking.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:17 AM   #3
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Although I had -0- debt at the time of ER, I have found it helpful to be able borrow money on attractive terms. Took out a mortgage on the house where I relo'd to preserve cash, (and just refinanced at a lower rate), took the finance option on one of the 2 new cars bought in 2019 for the same reason. And there's been the occasional 5-figure monthly credit card bill
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:19 AM   #4
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No real comment other than, you got it. It just doesnít matter at this point. The only reason I check my credit situation is to look for any identity theft issues since I havenít gotten around to locking my credit down yet. Got a couple of credit cards it 2019 (Apple and finally a Costco), so now I think Iím done with any need for credit checking.
I still closely monitor my credit files and all of my accounts religiously same as you. A sudden swing in the score , in my case, would mean some nefarious activity that I need to pounce on. I probably check my accounts twice a day ( minimum) just to be on top. Several times a year I have caught attempted thefts almost as they happened. If you immediately get involved and call your bank or card company you will avoid about 99% of the bs associated with consumer fraud and theft
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
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Some ways that a low credit score could affect your life even if you don't want to borrow money.

1. Your credit card company could reduce your limit or cancel your card.
2. You may not be eligible for a good cash back card.
3. You may not be able to get a good cell phone deal (e.g. - two for one new phone with a plan) or other seller deals.
4. Your insurance company may charge you higher rates.
5. If you wanted to rent property, you may not be able to.
6. If you move, your utility company will make you post a deposit for service.
7. If you ever wanted to work, even if just to pass the time and not for the money, you may not get the job.

Basically, businesses can and do use your credit score as a proxy for how trustworthy and reliable you are. Many won't want to deal with someone who has a bad credit score. And, besides that, how can you ever be sure you won't have to borrow in the future? Life happens. Why restrict your options when it does?
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:24 AM   #6
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Although we had no mortgage on our MD home, we did need to take one out to buy our FL house while waiting for the MD house to sell. We were glad that our credit scores entitled us to a favorable rate, although surprised at the huge amount of documentation demanded by the bank.

It still irks me to see our credit scores dip into the 700's just because we charged a major purchase on one of our credit cards. Then take several months to climb back into the 800's again. We have a combined credit limit, across cards, of some $300,000.00, and charging $25,000 on one of those cards (and paying it off the following month) shouldn't even move the needle IMHO.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #7
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I still closely monitor my credit files and all of my accounts religiously same as you. A sudden swing in the score , in my case, would mean some nefarious activity that I need to pounce on. I probably check my accounts twice a day ( minimum) just to be on top. Several times a year I have caught attempted thefts almost as they happened. If you immediately get involved and call your bank or card company you will avoid about 99% of the bs associated with consumer fraud and theft

+1
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:29 AM   #8
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Although I had -0- debt at the time of ER, I have found it helpful to be able borrow money on attractive terms. Took out a mortgage on the house where I relo'd to preserve cash, (and just refinanced at a lower rate), took the finance option on one of the 2 new cars bought in 2019 for the same reason. And there's been the occasional 5-figure monthly credit card bill
I looked closely at the car buying thing and know several car sales managers and discovered that there is only a very very small possibility of any real savings using the financing " deals" angle. I simply act like Im gonna finance all the way to the little office and once the Price is locked in I pull out my check book. Plus I may have only 1 or 2 new cars left in my world.
Since I do not buy into the emotional mantra about having to have a paid off house in retirement I still have a significant mortgage of our property. But its at a 3.25% rate so its damn near free money. We do not see any further moves in our future until its to a independent living facility and ,again , it will be a cash event.
And , like you , I also have an occasional 5 figure credit card month as I put damn near all of my spending on a cash back Amex card and pay in full monthly. But its an existing card and I don't see any need for a new one.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by aggie76 View Post
One of the nice perks about being retired and in good financial shape is being able to stop the insane worship and the chase of a credit score. All of our credit files are frozen ( permanently if possible) , we are at the point where we only pay cash for cars, can't see any need for any new mortgage . Our next move will be to the old folks home. Without any foreseeable need for any new credit I just cant see the need to even care about the magic number.
I recently had the usual stealth bogus medical charge , less than $1000, over a fully covered procedure from TWO years ago that some debt collector called me about. Of course I told them to stuff it where the sun doesn't shine , prove it ( which they claimed they didn't have to !!) etc... When it got to the threats about reporting me to the credit nazis I simply said I couldn't care less. It felt so good. Why should I care ?
Am I missing something ? What use is a credit score for someone who is done playing the credit game ? I know a few guys who have NO credit score , kinda like Dave Ramsey, and it hasn't really caused them any grief. They pay cash.
Any opinions or advise ?
Car insurance rates are based off of the insurer's credit worthyness, score being one factor. I used to run the algos' data files into our High Risk Auto Insurer and one of the integrations was with ChoicePoint, a provider of FICO data.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Car insurance rates are based off of the insurer's credit worthyness, score being one factor. I used to run the algos' data files into our High Risk Auto Insurer and one of the integrations was with ChoicePoint, a provider of FICO data.
It's illegal for auto insurers to use your credit score where I live. I'm guessing aggie76 is in Texas, but I don't know whether it's allowed there.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:57 AM   #11
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We thought we would "age in place," but recently decided to pick up stakes and move down I-85 ~200 miles. We obtained a VA loan and used a soulless Big Bank (best interest rate). Suddenly, a hell of a lot of folks were interested in our credit scores, debts, assets, etc.

Philosophically, I am unconcerned (but not disinterested) about our credit scores, because like many here, they hover at/above 800 year in and year out. Minimal debt and decades of on time payments is a simple recipe to keeping lofty scores (albeit a challenge for many).
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:35 AM   #12
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I thought I would age in place too. Then things changed. I decided to move and rent. I had no recent rental experience and investment income for rent. They checked my credit. Glad it was fine.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:32 PM   #13
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Since I do not buy into the emotional mantra about having to have a paid off house in retirement I still have a significant mortgage of our property.
Congratulations, I agree 100%

I also don't buy into the mantra of credit scores being critical. Just a scam to generate even more revenue from all the data the credit bureaus get paid to collect anyway. I always just paid my bills on time and never worried about my score. I never had any issues with getting the best rates for loans, insurance, etc. I do think credit history is important so I monitor credit reports to protect myself from fraud.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:40 PM   #14
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Congratulations, I agree 100%

I also don't buy into the mantra of credit scores being critical. Just a scam to generate even more revenue from all the data the credit bureaus get paid to collect anyway. I always just paid my bills on time and never worried about my score. I never had any issues with getting the best rates for loans, insurance, etc. I do think credit history is important so I monitor credit reports to protect myself from fraud.
Are you sure about insurance rates? Perhaps you have a great credit score anyway but a low score will hurt your insurance rates.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:41 PM   #15
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... being able to stop the insane worship and the chase of a credit score.
True.
But, I am still trying to figure out how to get my FICO score above 817.
It is a game.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:50 PM   #16
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Are you sure about insurance rates? Perhaps you have a great credit score anyway but a low score will hurt your insurance rates.
My insurance rates are so high they're probably embarrassed to try to charge me more. Yes, if you pay your bills on time, you will have a decemt credit score. The impact of credit score on insurance and loan rates is probably a pretty low bar (e.g. <650 or so). Then again you have dozens of formulas to calculate credit scores.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:55 PM   #17
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True.
But, I am still trying to figure out how to get my FICO score above 817.
It is a game.
if you enjoy playing the game, you may want to check out the tool from Credit Journey by Chase. It has a credit score simulator (what if tool) and so forth, but they use an oddball credit score (Vantage 3.0)

https://creditcards.chase.com/free-credit-score
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:56 PM   #18
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I simply act like Im gonna finance all the way to the little office and once the Price is locked in I pull out my check book.
In my experience the salesperson always asks about financing well before you get back to the office..."What kind of monthly payment are you looking for?"... "Are you approved for financing at your bank?"..."How many months do you want to finance?"

How do you answer those questions?
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:21 PM   #19
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I have never worried about nor tried to improve my credit score. Total non issue.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:29 PM   #20
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True.
But, I am still trying to figure out how to get my FICO score above 817.
It is a game.
Hmmm... I just logged into my B of A account. They keep sending me emails prodding me to check my FICO score, and I didn't care.

It's 841. OK. How did I get it? What do I do with this?

Curiously, B of A also sends me periodic emails, or is it something somewhere on the screen when I log in, that say that they worry about my cash flow. They, or rather their computer, observe that I have more outflow than income. They offer some online software tools to let me do budget planning, so that I will not be in the red.

And if they look for payroll deposits, then indeed I have exactly zero income until recently when my wife claimed early SS. It is obvious that the numerous IRA transfers I made over the years are not considered income. It's just a guy selling the farm to live on.

Their program needs to realize that if a guy keeps having more outflow than "income" for several years and his account balance stays positive, then he must have some magic tricks. Maybe their program needs to have some AI (the buzzword that everybody uses nowadays).

PS. Do they offer their software budgeting tool to everyone, or just "Platinum Honors" clients like me? One of these days, they may pull that status from me, a spendthrift who has no "income".
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