It can be said in one sentence. Don’t pay your bills. Try a loan modification Let your house go into foreclosure. Get lots of credits cards and max them out. Pay one credit card with another. Increase your credit line as high as the bank allows. Make your bank take your car back or better yet let the “repo” man come and repose it. That’s how you can quickly lower your credit score. But don’t stop there! There are lots of other actions you can take to send your score down the drain.
Once you’ve quit paying your bills make sure you never communicate in any way with those to whom you owe money. Be consistently late with your payments. You wouldn’t want them to think you’re not a deadbeat. You could even call it your “deadbeat score.” Just as responsible people have high credit scores; deadbeats have high scores too, just in the opposite direction.
As indicated, don’t pay your credit cards, car payments, store cards, utilities, cell phone, Internet, house or rent payments- etcetera, etcetera, etcetera as Yul Brenner used to say! The list goes on and on and so do the consequences. Credit card companies have learned through sad experience, as have all creditors that the way one pays his or her bills says a lot about that person.
It only takes a few months to ruin a credit score and years to rebuild it. Where the problem comes in, is how the low score affects nearly everything you may do or want. Unless you pay cash for everything, your credit score is used in nearly every aspect of your life not just what you buy.
For example, most landlords check your credit scores and history to see how you pay your bills to determine if they’ll rent to you. They want to know if they’re going to get their rent and be paid on time. A low credit score may even keep you from being able to rent an apartment. Even if you are accepted, the chances are, landlords will raise the rents to protect themselves from deadbeats.
Another factor is that people who pay their bills on time are much less likely to trash they’re living accommodations. It may not seem fair to assume that, but it’s the case with rentals. The truth tells the tale.
With your plunging credit score you can also lose your car insurance or at least have it raised. The benefits of a low credit score just keep giving and giving. Today, if you have a low credit score you’ll have a higher car insurance bill. Does that sound good to you? Insurance companies like everyone else measure what has become your deadbeat score.
To become the best deadbeat you can be, just refuse to keep track of your spending habits. It’s a little like the federal government. It’s not how high the deficit is, it’s how much they can spend each year. You too can have a multi-trillion dollar debt.
Here’s another tip that goes along with spending habits. Don’t use money management programs like Quicken, Money, Peach, CheckBook or SimplyChecking. You wouldn’t want to know where your money went, would you? In this same vein, forget balancing your check book. That might give you fair warning that something is amiss.
Obviously this tongue-in-cheek approach to financial responsibility is meant to be a teaching opportunity. Young people sometimes don’t want to be bothered by the effort to keep their financial house in order. But they’re not the only ones. Anyone who has a high “deadbeat score,” will also rate high on problems that result from that score. For better or worse, a low credit score or high deadbeat score says a lot about a person’s fiscal responsibility and credibility.