Crippled CEO Blog #068:
My dad didn’t care about my SAT score.
He didn’t really care about any of my scholastic test scores.
There was only one score that he cared about.
My credit score.
While they wanted me to succeed and to, in general, get good grades, neither of my parents were really concerned about me getting the highest possible GPA.
But I started being told very, very young that my credit score was absolutely critical. My dad had impeccable credit, and no son of his was going to have anything below an 800.
And as an adult, I get it. I am a high school dropout, so those test scores I worried so much about don’t mean anything today, but being uber diligent about having perfect credit, like he was, has been incredibly important.
It’s the reason I own my house. It’s the reason I own my vehicle. It’s the reason I have credit cards. But even more importantly, over and over again, it has saved my business. There’s no way we have have inventory for the season without our line of credit. We don’t make it through the 2008 recession without taking out loans. We don’t grow 10x over 9 years without bank lines, credit cards, and excellent terms with vendors.
My dad was right about almost everything, all the time, that bastard (it was really annoying), but he was especially right about his insistence on a flawless credit score. If you can do one thing for your kids, besides feeding them a few times a week, help them get set up with a credit card they can start paying off early just to start building their credit while they are still living at home and you can guide them through it. My dad had me take out a loan from the bank when I was 18 with the sole purpose of paying it back one month at a time.
If your own credit isn’t great, make a plan to fix it that’s on auto pilot. Figure out what you need to do to get everything current, make the payments automatic, and put the date that you’ll be all clear on the calendar. Your instinct is to not want to look at it. But in most cases, there really is a path towards redemption.
I’ve already started telling my infant nephew that I don’t care if he gets good grades, but he is definitely going to have perfect credit.
(This one wasn’t too bad, right? Maybe you should share it with somebody. Maybe you should make sure that you never miss the next one by sending a text message to 484848 with the word CRIP as the message. If you want.)