Our Philosophy About Credit

 

There are many different philosophies about credit and how to teach a credit class. We think it's only fair that financial educators know how a credit curriculum approaches the topic. This overview lists the beliefs that formed the foundation of The Good Credit Game.

 

  1. Credit is an asset and some debt can be good, healthy and functional.

  2. Having good credit can be an important part of building wealth and ensuring a healthy financial future for oneself.

  3. Credit (and loans) should be used responsibly. Always consider wants versus needs.

  4. Going to the extreme of cutting up all credit cards, only paying cash and never taking out a loan is not realistic or in the long-term best interest of most people.

  5. You cannot really opt out of the credit system. Even if you pay cash for everything, credit reports are still used as a measure of character and trustworthiness. There may be a credit check before getting a job, obtaining a security clearance or being accepted as a renter. Credit reports also determine interest rates on loans and credit cards, whether you pay a deposit or can even get service when it comes to utilities, cell phones, etc. And if you ever truly face an emergency and need money, it is far better to have good credit than no credit.

  6. Sometimes doing what makes the best financial sense can lower your credit score, but it is the right choice. For example, paying for everything in cash, declaring bankruptcy, foreclosing on a house or canceling credit cards may not be good for your credit score but may be the right option for you.

  7. Striving to get a perfect 850 credit score is not the goal. The goal is to be aware of the consequences of your choices and how they affect your credit score.

  8. Even small changes can have a dramatic effect on your credit score and the amount of money you pay for loans and other services.

  9. Not everyone should use credit. This would include people with impaired judgment due to addictions, medications and medical or behavioral challenges.

  10. Choose credit cards and lenders based on hard facts, not on whether the person you talk to is nice. Remember, this is a business deal. You’re getting a loan, not a friend. Even small differences in rates and fees can mean paying hundreds or thousands more dollars over the course of a loan or paying off a credit card. If two lenders offer the same deal, choose the nice person—otherwise stick with the facts and get the lowest rates and fees.

  11. Smiling and laughter are good things. Research shows that learning, retention of information and follow-through at all ages are increased when people are actively engaged, enjoying themselves and can relate to the information as being personally relevant. Consequently, we made this program interactive, fun and non-judgmental.