Credit Still Makes Zero Sense to Me

My credit score

The pandemic has given me more free time than I’ve had since being a kid. It’s given me time to think, and I keep coming back to the credit system. I don’t get it. At all.

As I understand it, you need good credit to buy things that you can’t afford with cash in hand. You build credit by buying things you can’t afford with cash in hand (or you buy things you can afford, but with your credit card, and risk a fee…why?). My question always comes back to this: why should I buy things that I can’t pay for with cash in hand?

Most of this perspective comes from growing up. We lost our car, our business and our home when I was in middle school. That burned into my head the idea that if I couldn’t pay for it right then with cash, then I wasn’t going to buy it, because that meant I actually couldn’t afford it.

So I’ve never used a credit card. I’ve taken out one private loan in my life, for $1,000 to pay rent. I don’t have a credit score. When I share that with people, they always say things to me like, “Don’t you want yo own a house?”

But mortgages don’t make any sense to me either. How do you “buy” a house, and then spend 30 years paying for it? If I were to miss enough payments, I get kicked out, like I did as a kid. How is that “ownership?” Instead of asking for $200,000 to buy a house, I keep wanting to ask, why does a house cost $200,000?

I’ve accepted that I’ll probably die on this hill alone, but that’s fine. I just don’t want to owe people money for things that I knew I couldn’t afford before I bought them.

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