In this day and age, I know it is absolutely stupid to not check up on your credit report at least once a year. You know, to make sure bad things aren't happening.
But I've never been that kind of girl.
I had a credit card once upon a time, when I was in college and they said, "It will help just to have it. You don't even need to use it." And I used it once or twice, paid it off at the beginning of the month like a good girl...and promptly forgot about it for a while. Then I moved out on my own, got an apartment with a roommate who frequently overspent and then needed to borrow money for rent. And that credit card came in handy, especially when Daddy offered to pay it off for me every month to help me.
But then, you know, I decided six months into THAT deal that I was a big girl with my own money and financially stable enough to pay my own bills. I asked him to stop paying it. And I forgot about it a couple of times, realized it and did what any sane eighteen year old girl would do. I paid off the balance and closed the card. Credit saved.
That's about all.
I mean, I've rented apartments, but I don't know if that actually goes on your credit or not. Does it? I don't think so. It's not like an account or anything.
So I've just gone through life with student loans (paying off slowly) and some medical (paying off even more slowly) on my credit, and a card that I once had but I closed myself.
I've never worried about my credit.
I wasn't interested in credit cards or the idea of loans and mortgages and other things, so I didn't check it.
But then I decided to do it. And low and behold, my credit score wasn't fabulous. It's not awful, but it certainly isn't in the range I thought it would be. Of course, according to my credit thing my biggest problem is that I have NO lines of credit open.
Following the advice of my financial nanny (AKA Padawan, who is frequently asking, "Do you really need to buy those shoes?" when we go out), I decided to apply for a credit card through my bank. And for some reason, I got declined.
Based on my credit score (I got it without getting a credit report), it should have been simple to get one through the bank that I have used for a few years. That I have a savings and checking account through. Why couldn't I get one?
So I got my credit report.
Um...in July of 2003 I got a car loan for ten thousand dollars? WHAT????
Let's do the math here. I'm twenty four years old. In July of 2003 I was fourteen years old! What the FUCK would I do with a car loan? Better yet, what fucking idiot would give a car loan to someone who's social security number said she was fourteen? I'm not entirely sure how it works, but I a pretty sure that my DOB is attached to any information on my SSN, so either some shady loan shark gave it out, or some idiot bank employee wasn't doing their job.
The crazy part is that I've never had a driver's license or owned a car on my own. It's ironic, really.
It can be pulled from my record, of course. Legally, I can't be held responsible for identity theft that occurred before I was eighteen and capable of taking care of my own legal affairs. The law, in this case, is on my side.
But that's going to take a while, and in the meantime I'm stuck with this crappy ass credit score with a few other things that aren't mine. I can't even get a credit card through my own bank until this is cleared up.
Here's my problem, though. I'm lucky enough to be able to get out of this because I'm clearly not at fault. But getting my credit UP with a score like that? If I was stuck like this, if it was something I had done myself, how the hell would I be able to improve my credit score? You can't get ANY credit open with a score like that...so how does it work? Once most people are in bad credit land...how do they get the chance to fix it? Will they be stuck forever with no hope of improving their situation in life because they made a few dumb choices when they were young?