I am very probably like many Americans just now. I am wondering how the U.S. banking industry can show such filthy ungratefulness and bottomless greed.
First, it contributed significantly to the housing crisis and the economic woes we as a nation have suffered the past few years.
Second, the government bailed out the industry.
Third, to end-game credit card and banking reforms, the banking industry drove up interest rates and added excessive, oppressive fees to banking and credit card services.
Fourth, excessive bonuses continued to go to the very people who helped create the problem in the first place.
Yes, the country likely would have been in a far worse situation if the government had not bailed out banking institutions, but the hedonistic greed and gluttony must stop or the banking industry is likely to see a fiscal revolution the likes of which it cannot imagine. I am already planning on moving my banking and credit card services to smaller, more personal community financial institutions. It will be a fraction of a drop in the bucket, but it is my own very tiny protest against the indifference, greed and ungratefulness.
And here is another very tiny protest – I am keeping good credit despite having been out of work for nearly a year! I just opened a quarterly credit report from one of my credit card companies. I continue to have a credit rating in the high 700s.
The dirty, ungrateful, greedy banking industry can’t take away that – yet
Frankly, I was amazed, even though I shouldn’t be. I have been pretty good about avoiding the use of credit cards since being laid off from a newspaper job in Stockton, Calif., so the balances on my several credit cards generally go up only due to interest – which is a killer – or because of new fees – which is cranking me up quite a bit.
And for the past couple of years I have been making larger payments to pay down the credit card balances built during a part of my career when I was not being adequately paid. I depended on the credit cards for necessities – food.
Looking at the credit rating, the big three – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – each had me in the high 700s for the first fiscal quarter. Each of them showed a 3-point reduction in the second quarter, which was the first full quarter that I was without a job. I used the credit card to purchase a laptop computer and other items needed for the job hunt, so there were charges placed on my various credit cards. And, unfortunately, I could only make minimum payments.
But as unemployment continued, I shied away from using credit cards at all, I do not have a mortgage payment and I am rather stoic in my spending, even before being laid off.
To my surprise, two of the credit agencies showed my score in the third fiscal quarter as constant to what it was the previous quarter and Equifax upped my score by 8 points!
I held my own in the fourth quarter, too. There was no change up or down in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.
While I doubt I will be able to hold this credit rating steady if unemployment continues for very much longer, I find it terribly positive that I have been able to maintain excellent credit it a time of personal and national economic upheaval.
I, therefore, pat myself on the back. Someone has to.