Book Review: Living Well With Bad Credit

Back in December, I was asked if I would participate in a book review online tour. The book is Living Well With Bad Credit by Chris Balish and Geoff Williams. Now before I get started I must point out that this book has some things I ultimately disagree with, but with that said, it also has some helpful tidbits to help exterminate the notion that bad credit is the end of life as you know it.

One of the very first things that stood out to me was one simple phrase. It’s a phrase that sounded so familiar, but it took a minute to realize from where I’d heard it.

The phrase “You are not your credit score!” reminded me so much of Tyler Durden’s philosophy in the movie Fight Club. I was also rather impressed with what Joe Nicassio was quoted as saying.

If we’re going to fix one thing in this country, we need to find a better way to judge people’s characters than just a number on paper.”

I have said many times that I thought it was unfortunate that we are judged on our financial responsibility solely based on how much we borrow and pay back. Someone like me, who has decided never to borrow money ever again, still has the ability to be financially responsible, which brings me to the next quote from the book.

“It is strange thing that the man who pays cash for all he gets cannot get credit while a man who runs bills habitually can get about all the credit he wants.”

Chris and Geoff point out some of the things that end up causing a low self-esteem credit score.

  • Divorce
  • Health Problems
  • Bad Mortgages
  • Too Much Debt
  • Job Loss
  • Poor Money Management

No matter what got you into your current situation this book strives to help you figure things out without feeling the need to pop anti-depressants like candy. Sometimes people just make mistakes. I never had the intention of not paying my creditors on time, but when you are ill-prepared and life happens, you are sometimes left with very little choice in the matter.

There are many ways living with bad credit can affect your quality of life if you are unsure of your options, but these guys do a good job of spelling those options out for you, chapter by chapter. Things such as banking, getting certain jobs, housing, starting a business, and not to mention how to avoid bad credit scams.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book, was when I got to the end, I realized that they covered the psychology of living with bad credit. Not only do they discuss the problems but they also point out possible solutions, especially since someone with bad credit may not be in a position to afford seeing a therapist.

Sometimes the results of someone with bad credit does not turn out all to well. Depression, suicide, substance abuse, among other things can turn a bad situation into a worse one. Just like it is better to deal with your money open and honestly, it is also important to deal with the side effects of such issues.

Life is sometimes full of disappointment and even when we feel we do not deserve what happens to us, there are always ways around them to find that better place in life. Some argue that your credit is important, but I do not believe it is AS important as we have been led to believe. Bad credit happens to the best of us, so now you must learn how to cope with it and turn your situation around for the better. This book does a great job of helping you do just that.

NEXT BOOK REVIEW: Outstanding by John G. Miller

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Living Well With Bad Credit”

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  1. Evan says:

    I read it and enjoyed it. The book really showed me how important it is to have a solid 700+ point credit score. It can be almost everything financially.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Hey Evan, thanks for your comment.

      That is the part of the book I disagreed with. It’s ONLY important to have a 700+ credit score if you plan to borrow money, which I obviously disagree with. I personally think that the credit score is an unfortunate device used to encourage people to borrow money so that they can “prove they are responsible”—or so they continue to believe.

      If you have to borrow money to be considered financially responsible, I have no problem using cash. I currently do not have a credit score due to not having enough activity. If there is anything out there that will cause me problems because of that, I am prepared to deal with that. I am certain I will be able to handle whatever those things might be.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope you return.

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