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You” ve seen all the ads about credit scores on TV. Have you checked your score lately? Do you wonder what your score is? You’re not alone. Our culture has reached the point where we pretty much idolize the almighty credit score. Why? Because we think it somehow proclaims to the world how good we are at managing our finances. In reality, all it does is show how much we love debt. Step away from the credit score, people. It’s okay—you can live without it.

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “A good credit score shows my ability to manage money and build wealth.”

Not true. As you pay down your debts, you may start to notice your credit score inch up. But as satisfying as it is to make headway on your debts, a high FICO score doesn’t mean you’re wealthy. Your FICO score only measures your debt: how much you have, how much you use, and how often you pay it back. You’ll never build wealth that way.

Here’s another faulty reason folks keep a credit card in their wallets: “I need a credit score to buy a house. That’s not necessarily true. The truth is you can buy a house without having a credit score, but you have to find a mortgage company that does “manual underwriting.” This means they’ll make a judgment call about you based on the details of your actual life rather than simply relying on a few numbers. They’ll look for things like a strong history of paying your rent and utilities on time and a solid employment record.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.