“How is Your Credit Score Doing?” by Your Mother

Are you taking care of your credit score? And remember, I’m your mother, so I can always tell when you’re lying.

Hello bubbele! I wanted to call just to make sure your phone was working. I figured there must have been something wrong with it, since you haven’t called me in weeks, but apparently it’s working just fine. How odd.

Anyway, I just wanted to see how your credit is doing. You know you have to pay attention to it, right? It’s not something you can only think about every other month or so, like your dear loving mother. If you’re not careful you can end up with payday loans as your only option—and that would break your father’s heart, you know.

Have you been eating well? I saw you were looking a little chubby the last time you came to visit, which was almost a year ago, you know. If you’ve been eating out too much, that could lead to increased credit card debt and that isn’t great for your credit score. Instead, you should consider meal planning. I read about it in the Oprah magazine. You take a few hours on the weekend to prepare a bunch of food, then you’re all set for the week.

You’ve also been paying your bills on time, right? Remember, your father and I are willing to help you out if you need it. We’d rather help you out now so you don’t go into debt and ruin your credit score. Then you’ll be better prepared to care for us when we’re old!  Which isn’t that long away, you know! You have an extra room at your home, right? Wouldn’t that be so much nicer than us living in a home or on the streets relying on title loans and cash advances to get by? But if you’re too busy for us to live with you someday, we’d understand. We only raised you after all, but we wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.

You should also be building an emergency fund. Do you remember that time your father and I were in the Pocono Mountains and I told him to be careful because there was no mat on the floor of the shower in the cabin and he said it was fine because we didn’t have a mat for the first 20 years we were living in the house but I pointed out that we aren’t the young spring chicks we used to be and it turned out I was right because he fell and we had to go to the emergency room with that nice lady doctor who I thought was the nurse?

I’ve never told you this but we didn’t have an emergency fund! Can you believe it? We had to take out a personal loan just to make ends meet! It was a very nice installment loan with manageable payments and a reasonable interest rate but taking out all that extra debt certainly had a negative effect on our credit score. Please learn from our mistakes!

Oh, and don’t forget to check your credit score at least once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s almost as important as washing behind your ears.

You are washing behind your ears, right?

Also be sure to use your credit card. But not too much! Try to never spend more than 30 percent of your balance and pay it off in full each month. You can mark the date each month on one of the calendars we got you. You know the ones right? We sent them to you for your birthday. We weren’t sure which one you would like, so we sent you a Snoopy one, a Ziggy one, and a different Ziggy one. Which one did you end up using?

Honestly, though you need to be careful with those credit cards. Spend too much on your cards and the only loans you’ll be able to qualify for will be bad credit loans or, even worse, no credit check loans! Can you imagine how mortifying that would be for us? What if you took out too many online loans and then you declared bankruptcy and then you had to move back in with your dad and me! What would we tell the neighbors?! We’d have to move. There would be no facing them!

OK, I should be going. I have bridge with the other women from the synagogue. You know Helen’s daughter Sarah has an over 800 credit score? You should meet with her. She has her own company and maybe she has something for you. Do you want me to set up a meeting?

Well, tell me if you change your mind and if you need some money. Keep keeping that credit score healthy!

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Your Mother doesn’t mean to bother you too much. She only wants what’s best for you. And also, are you considering having children soon? She doesn’t want to rush you, but she saw some baby clothes that looked so cute and were on sale, so she bought them and wants to know if that makes you more likely to have a kid soon.

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