Are you a slave to good credit?

I’m on a rant today.

I wrote a book on credit repair. I think it’s nice to have good credit.

But getting good credit isn’t a way to be rich. You are NOT your credit report – don’t let anyone tell you that you are.

Sam Walton said that he didn’t trust anyone who hasn’t gone bankrupt at least 3 times.

That seems a bit extreme, but I see his point.

It also makes you wonder who kept giving him money to build new businesses every time he lost everything. (here’s a secret – he didn’t raise money using his credit)

Good credit is meaningless. In fact, it’s worse than meaningless. It’s a way to keep you under control.

I’m no conspiracy theorist – I’m talking about the chains that bind you – but I think that the key to those chains is in our pocket. We know it’s there, we just don’t think we should reach for it. It just wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

You’ve probably heard stories about the “Company Store.” The coal mining companies of days past made their workers buy everything they needed from the company store. And they had complete control over what the workers bought and how much they paid.

They were even so good as to give you credit till next payday. That way you could take milk home to the baby and put some food on the table. They were generous with their loans. And those loans just kept getting higher and higher because you couldn’t support yourself on the wage they gave you.

The old miner songs say – “I owe my soul to the company store.”

That is what debt does – it steals your freedom. It makes you nervous and it makes you afraid – and it keeps your nose to the grindstone – or it makes you give up in despair.

In Europe, in the old days, they had debtor’s prison. Ever heard of the Bastille?

In the USA, we have bankruptcy laws that protect borrowers. They can’t put you in jail for not paying your debts anymore.

So they came up with something else. They came up with credit scores.

Credit scores are their own kind of chains. If you fear to drop below that magical 700 FICO and you do everything you can to keep that from happening, maybe something else is working on your head than just honor.

We believe – and rightfully so – that we should honor our debts. That we should make good on our promises. I agree. There are people who owe me money and I hope they keep paying.

If we build an entire society and commerce system on debt, we must all fulfill our roles – right? The borrowers and the lenders.

When 2008 came around, everyone believed that the system was broken. We thought that maybe the system was heading toward collapse because nobody could pay their mortgages any longer – the bubble had popped at last.

The “consumer” (that’s you) – lost confidence, got really scared and quit buying. The lenders, (that’s the bank) stopped lending. They were afraid too – they had made billions of dollars of loans they knew were bad loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them and then sold those loans as “A” paper. I believe they put the brakes on lending to keep a low profile and hope to god they didn’t get thrown in jail.

The loan freeze created a daisy chain of businesses going under.

The businesses started laying off workers – midlevel management people took the biggest hit. The middle class lost their jobs.

After a while, big business started making money and hiring again. But this time, they hired fewer people at lower wages.

The income gap between rich and poor widened.

I’m no economist. I just watch what is going on to the people around me. I watch what I’m thinking and how important some things are to me – especially when I know intellectually that they may not be as important as I fear they are.

I have good credit – perfect credit really – but I’m willing to trash that credit in a second if I think it is the best way to protect my family.

I had to trash it once before in 1991 and I waited till the very last minute before I did. I won’t wait so long next time – if that time ever comes.

When my business crashed for me more than 20 years ago (1991), my credit took the hit. I didn’t protect my family and myself the way I should have. I tried to pay back everyone I owed money. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

That was a mistake. Instead, protect the ones you love. Stay alive and try again tomorrow.

It’s not over till you’re dead.

So what is my point?

Stop thinking you need good credit to become rich. Stop thinking the almighty FICO score will determine if you are a “quality” person or a “bad risk.”

Bypass credit – bypass banks – bypass allowing someone else to decide if you QUALIFY for their beneficent loan.

Quit begging. Quit asking someone else to give you something, approve “you” for something, see how valuable what you have to offer is and buy it.

Start controlling your roll in the world. Start deciding who you want to be and then become that person.

Stop doing what you hate and start doing what you love.

I’m not saying that you should hurt others or be irresponsible or not fulfill your promises. I AM saying that you should follow your dreams. I AM saying that you should QUALIFY yourself – that you should APPROVE yourself – hell, don’t just approve yourself, PRE-APPROVE yourself.

You don’t need permission from anyone but yourself.

And I’m not just talking to folks with bad credit, this is just as important – perhaps more so – to those of you who have good credit. If you have good credit, it’s easy to be lulled into using that credit because you THINK it’s easier make money that way – but it’s not easier to MAKE money if you have good credit, it’s just easier to SPEND money – and it’s much, much riskier.

You don’t need money to make money. This is a myth. If you can’t make money with NO money, you sure can’t make money WITH money.

Unchain yourself from credit.

The keys are in your pocket – dig in – release your chains and start thinking about this in a very different way.

Julius Caesar had a son who was a commander in the Roman Army. Things were not going well for him on the battlefield. His men were getting decimated and defeat loomed large.

Caesar wrote a letter to his son (and I paraphrase) – he said. “When you find yourself in an unthinkable position, change the way you think about it.”

Change the way you think about building your own business. Change the way you think about your own success. Change the way you think about what you NEED in order to succeed.

Then, look for unconventional ways to move forward – honorable ways, ethical ways – ways that are guided by love and compassion without being bound to what your old ways of thinking want you to believe.

Nobody is at fault but you.

Nobody can unchain you but you.

Nobody will do it for you.



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  1. Gordon fine
    September 6, 2013 at 1:45 am · Reply

    hi its gordon and i agree with what you said the thing is im willing to go all the way with your program but i want to know can you really make as much or more in real estate with bad creditthanks joe

    • Joe Crump
      September 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm · Reply

      Hi Gordon,
      Yes, you can. Everything I teach revolves around NOT using banks or credit or down payments. We are too dependent on these things. Look at the biggest business successes and you will see business that were built from nothing, businesses that were built from a garage. This is what it means to be a true entrepreneur. This is what it means to be in control of your life rather than giving that control to someone who puts a FICO number on your forehead.

      • Gordon fine
        September 24, 2013 at 7:39 am · Reply

        wow you are real did not really think you would write back the fact that you did tells me alot now im going to save all that i have and be part of your program and give u a call when im ready thank joe you have given me hope lol

  2. Gerry
    August 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm · Reply

    I have not been concerned with my credit score for the very reasons that you have mentioned for decades. It does not stop me from living because I know that all I can do is my best even if others think ill of me. Although I have had undesirable credit for most of my younger years, it was not intentional and never stood in my way of continuing to try to get ahead. Also, I was lucky enough not to get married to the “credit score” racket

    Thank for your words which support what I already believe. People ought to hear these kind of truths more often.

  3. August 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm · Reply

    I loved this post Joe. And I’ll remember these words, because they’ll come in useful one day.

    But I think after sharing so much wisdom from your own experience, you deserve an explicit and shameless call to action at the end there!

    • Joe Crump
      August 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm · Reply

      LOL – Well said – by one of the best copywriters out there today! Thanks Lewis.

  4. August 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm · Reply

    Man, Joe, that is good stuff! Thanks!

  5. Sharon
    August 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm · Reply

    Good job with saying what you did, but you don’t say how you can live and make money with bad credit.
    I kept looking for that.

    • Joe Crump
      August 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm · Reply

      That is what this entire blog is about – buying and selling properties without using your credit and without using banks. Check out some of the other posts – especially the videos about Analyzing Deals. Good luck, Joe

  6. August 5, 2013 at 10:54 am · Reply

    I’ve always liked your idea, Joe, of bypassing banks! Obviously, whenever you use one, they are making money from the transaction, so why not use them as little as possible?

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