Wonder What Life Without Credit Is Like-mfcclub.net

UnCategorized Samantha is a bright teen from America’s heartland, a small-town girl with a big dream, veterinary school. But there’s no credit in Cash Only, Arkansas, a strange quirk that soon overshadowed Samantha’s college plans. There’s also not much to do in Samantha’s hometown, but the area has fresh air, abundant sunshine, and more than its share of bustling small farms producing everything from U.S. prime beef to fancy heirloom vegetables for the city people up north in Plastic City. Samantha’s family owns a third-generation dairy farm with 54 bovine beauties that enjoy air-conditioned stalls and all-you-can-eat buffets. After graduation, she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, ever since Bessie #11 kicked the bucket during calfbirth. A bright student, Samantha won a $20,000 scholarship to Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where first-year tuition for out-of-state residents runs $50,000. Problem was, with feed prices rising and milk-price volatility playing havoc with the family budget, Samantha’s parents couldn’t cough up the balance. Samantha was devastated. With no credit available, she couldn’t apply for a student loan, even though she would have easily qualified. She watched in sorrow as her more affluent friends hung up their overalls and departed for Arkansas State. Her career had stalled, but Samantha remained determined. She would save the $30,000 by waitressing for a year tops at The Hard Way Diner, then join the freshman class the following fall. But tips were stingy, the customers cranky; even after picking up occasional extra shifts, she was still short of her goal two years later. She blew $4,000 on a 10-year-old clunker that proved to be a money pit. Right now it needed a new muffler, but Main Street Auto accepted only cash or credit cards. Having neither, she ignored the rattle and got a $200 ticket on her way to work. Samantha resigned herself to another year of waitressing. She was still living at home (landlords wouldn’t rent to her without a credit history), and she squabbled with her parents often. She felt trapped. After receiving a windfall inheritance from an aunt, she headed north for Ithaca. Samantha excelled in school, acing first-year courses like neuroanatomy. By her fourth year, she’d grown homesick, but she reveled in her clinical rotations in ambulatory medicine. Graduating with honors, she longed to work in the town that tugged at her heartstrings, back home in Cash Only. Samantha interviewed with Dr. Andersen, who once helped nurse her Pomeranian back to health after a regrettable flying leap. Dr. Andersen, nearing retirement, needed a successor to care for Cash Only’s teeming population of dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, ferrets and the occasional emu. Samantha impressed Dr. Andersen with her articulate answers and description of dairy farm life. Afterwards, he checked her references and credit history. He wanted a trustworthy associate who didn’t have any financial skeletons in the closet and preferably voted Republican. He noted disapprovingly that Samantha’s credit had been checked by a baker’s dozen of potential landlords and wireless carriers; he wondered what the problem was. Samantha’s credit history was otherwise a blank slate; none of the credit cards, car loans or student loans one would expect to see on a young person’s credit history. Her credit score was a basement-level 600, hardly a number to inspire confidence. Dr. Andersen shook his head and offered the job to his nephew. Samantha gratefully accepted a backup job offer from Dr. Vexton in Plastic City. Everything would change as Samantha stepped out of the shadowy Twilight Zone of Cash Only. It wasn’t her first choice, but how could she know that the opportunities she’d find there extended well beyond veterinary medicine? Samantha learned that Dr. Vexton’s approach to running a veterinarian business varied greatly from Dr. Andersen’s. It took Dr. Andersen a lifetime to build his practice because he failed to leverage credit. In contrast, Dr. Vexton made liberal use of small business loans to finance business investments, like when he purchased a $40,000 laser for spay-and-neuters. Dr. Vexton’s business thrived. Samantha was the fourth veterinarian to join his state-of-the-art facility featuring not only laser-assisted surgery but ultrasound, dentistry and orthopedic surgery, too. Samantha absorbed everything like a sponge. Soon she began applying what she learned to her personal finances. She got a credit card but used it sparingly. She did indulge by charging the purchase of a jet-black, purebred Newfoundland puppy with enormous feet. Soon, the puppy managed Bark Duty at Samantha’s office. Still, she paid off the debt quickly to avoid carrying a balance. Samantha’s next credit foray was an auto loan she used to purchase a new car, replacing the lemon. Samantha made every payment on time and even added a bit extra toward principal each month. Six months later, Samantha was thrilled to move out of mom and dad’s house and into her own place. She fell in love with the Hydrangea Way apartment with its private patio and location near a park, ideal for exercising Rufus. Her landlord ran a credit check on her and decided that a young woman who earned a good income and paid her bills on time was the kind of "risk" he liked to take. Thanks to credit, Samantha achieved her earliest goals and was well on her way to a prosperous and productive life. About the Author: Dawn Handschuh has earned a living putting pen to paper for 25 years, including 10 years in financial services, where she wrote widely on retirement planning and personal finance. Dawn is a regular contributor at www.creditfyi.com and blogs daily on .credit-blog.creditfyi.. 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