Is This You? Checking in on those three dreaded numbers |

Is This You? Checking in on those three dreaded numbers

Trina Machacek

In a discussion the topic of credit comes up. There are as many facets about credit as there are grains of sand on Pismo Beach — that's to say nearly innumerable. To dissect a credit profile takes knowledge and power. Knowledge in knowing three little numbers in a row, like 823, 759, 672, can have as big an impact on your life as you allow them to have. The power comes in when you finally realize they're just that, numbers.

Those numbers can run or ruin your life, right? Not so fast there, speedy. Let's just take a closer look at the whole picture. If you don't know about a credit rating, you probably don't have one, or at the least it isn't up to snuff. If you do know about a credit rating, your number is either fine or you're working on it to get it up to snuff. But what if you know you have one but don't know what it is? Do you need to know? I mean, if you're going to buy something on time, yes, but need to know just to know? Ah, step on into the world and the power of advertising …

You might have seen them. The ads that tell you to go online and find out, right now, what your credit score is. Hurry, someone might ask you and you won't know! What a disaster. Really? So I thought I would give it a try. I was all ready to go until that little voice in the back of my head started screaming at me, "What are you? Nuts?" The voice, as usual, was right. I don't need to get sucked into that quagmire. Here, for what it's worth, and loads of people don't think it's worth as much as a pig in a poke, but here is my take on checking my credit score …

First of all, I don't feel comfortable putting my life "numbers" out there. You know, Social Security, driver's license, my cat's birthday or how many toes my great, great grandfather had on his left foot as compared to his right foot. Oh sure, sure, online companies promise they can keep all that information safe and secure as in your mother's arms. But if, for goodness' sake, big box stores with unlimited funds can't keep the boogie man out of their computers, what makes me think a company that uses numbers to rank me against my neighbor can? Oh, wait! They can't, as proven recently by the hacking of one, no, two, of those almighty credit bureaus. Whew, I feel better. You?

Also, as a woman, my life has been thrown into a blender over and over again by three numbers that are as ever changing as a credit score. Those are the numbers reported daily by the bathroom scale. Not to say men don't also take everything out of their pockets before going into the doctor's office for the weigh-in.

So, which three numbers should we pay more attention to? Both sets go up and down. Both sets can cause you to go running into the night with happiness or pulling your hair out. Think about this; one set of numbers you work hard at because you want them to be high and the other set you also work hard at because you want desperately for them be a bit lower. Up, down, down, up. Just like Nevada's springtime weather — always changing.

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Now, I don't live in a cave or with my head buried in the sand. I know the system won't change, and I don't have a better idea waiting in the wings to follow the fall — if the credit system falls. I know to be able to buy a home, car, furniture, huge TV, get an apartment or just feed a high number-driven ego, you need a good credit rating. So we all work toward that goal and appreciate the ending when you're in a car dealership and the credit guy comes out smiling and wants to meet you because he has never seen an 897. Isn't it great to be known as an 897?

So, in the end, I didn't go online and check. Too boogie man afraid. I'll keep my numbers to myself — both sets of three, thank you very much!

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at Really!