MIT economists Hong Ru and Antoinette Schoar analyzed more than a million credit card mailings from 1999 to 2011 and made note of the income and education levels of recipients.
In an ideal world, a credit score would tell you nothing about a person except, well, their history of handling credit. Increasingly though companies and other entities are trying to use credit scores as proxies for indicators about a person’s general success at life.
The first year I had the card, I never even activated it; I kept that little white sticker that read “To activate this card, call 555-whatever” on the card and never called the number. If I didn’t use the credit card, it couldn’t hurt me.
When I was in school, working part time for very little money and thus totally unable to afford payments on a credit card, I was pre-approved, but now that I’d gotten a well-paying (by 1990 standards) full-time job in my degree field, I was a bad credit risk because I’d been smart about not getting in debt when I was in school?
By the time I left Alabama, I had run the card up to $6,000.
Recently, I’ve noticed that my credit card companies have been offering me free FICO credit scores, but they’re not the same.
“When I do a balance transfer, I try to remember to log in my calendar when the rate expires. At that time, I’ll transfer that balance to another card. Then, after a billing cycle, I’ll transfer it back to the 0 percent card.”
Dan Price often gets asked, by would-be entrepreneurs, what first step they should take to achieve their goals.
“The first step is doing something for someone,” he answers.