In Germany I never had debts or loans. I probably overdrew my checking account at the end of some months, but that was not a big deal, at all. When I moved here I learned that you need a good credit score when you want to be seen by the banks as a valuable client who can be trusted with money. They determine that by how much debt a person accumulates and how this person is paying this debt off.
First I needed a credit card. My bank strongly recommended having two credit cards because that would help with my credit score. I really didn’t see the point in that and decided to have only one. Then, after I lived in the US for two years, I had to get a new car. That was my first chance to get a loan, something banks love (I wonder why – I am kidding), and got rejected. My credit score was not bad at all, but I was probably not on their lists long enough to be seen as trustworthy. Andrew had to cosign my car loan.
And now we are dealing with the bureaucracy of getting a big loan for our new house (but we still don’t know if we are really going to get it.). I will be with Andrew on that loan. As soon as this happens I will have two loans to pay off: my car and the house loan. I think I am adjusting very well to this society, am I not? Back in Germany I would have never bought a car with a loan. And buying a house? I would have not dreamed of that this was even possible. And, honestly, I never wanted a house.
For some reason I don’t mind being in debt – something that was unheard of for me back in Germany. Everybody does it this way here – well, not everybody. I know a former colleague who is very proud about his bad credit score. His credit score is actually really awful. No bank or any person who wants to do business with him will ever trust him. At least that is what you hear everywhere whenever you want to talk about credit scores. But my colleague’s bad credit score is a result of his lifestyle. He decided when he was very young that he never wanted any debt and that he would only buy what he could pay for in cash. And so he did. All his cars, houses, boats, etc. were paid with cash. He is actually wealthy (working as a freelance engineer and project manager) and knows to enjoy his life. But he never even had a credit card.
Well, apparently I am not like him. I am totally Americanized and I am having fun with it.