Jack’s weekly blog hits close to home.
I learned something new this past week.
The banks are only interested in you now when they’re making money from loaning you money!
Growing up in a Presbyterian household in Scotland, my Mother’s rule was “you don’t buy anything until you have the money to buy it”. So nothing was bought on credit! In those days a bank was where you saved your money. Wendy comes from a similar background, so we were very happy when we found ourselves ‘free and clear’ a few years ago and not owing anyone for anything.
Scottish banks, like Quaker saving societies have a reputation for simple, basic service and not speculating with your money overnight!
Fast forward to last week and we found that not buying anything on credit means our credit rating has gone from 800+ to zero. We have banked with Regions for so long it goes back to when they were called AmSouth, but that makes no difference apparently – regulations, don’t you know!
Their ‘work around’ was for us to get at least four letters from within a list of eligible types of companies attesting to our good standing. None of them were local and I have no idea how we’d have done that within our timescale.
Eighteen years ago that same bank were happy to finance our purchase of the bookstore. We paid that off early, which probably didn’t suit them either.
So Wendy went to BB&T, which is the bank her organization works with. Her contact there said “my goodness, that’s crazy – we can do this”. A wasted week later I get phone call from their guy in Winston-Salem – “I need some details so I can check your credit ratings – – – – “
When we bought our first house together in Scotland, twenty years, ago I was invited into the manager’s office for tea and biscuits simply on the basis of our salaries, and he was very happy to approve the loan.
Now we’re in the very fortunate position of having investments we can convert into money but even that is proving time consuming and complicated, because I’m absolutely certain that every gate-keeper along the road is getting their pound of flesh!
Luckily we have investments we can call on, which we will to pay for our new house, but what’s the world come to? Perhaps this: https://youtu.be/x-o3CJytIPE (It’s Pete Seeger – go ahead and click the link.)