I’ve been skimming an article by Davis Lazarus in the L.A. Times about FICA credit scores , and it reminded me of an experience of mine several years ago .
I was trying to get a car loan . I had belonged to my mother’s credit union for decades . I had a minimum amount of cash in there , maybe $250 , but I had maintained the account for years for no apparent reason , except that maybe , just maybe , some day it would come in handy . So , I thought , that day had finally come .
I was asking for a car loan . I was working , owned two cars and a house , all that stuff . Should be no problem , right ? My credit was good .
I got a letter stating that I had no credit score ; that I didn’t seem to exist ; no such person as I had a credit score .
After a few weeks , I found myself on another call to the credit union . There was a woman on the line , asking me this and that . Arrogant tone of voice , like I was trying to pull a fast one on them .
How many aliases do you use ? None. I told her none .Well , you applied under the name Daniel J. Hennessy , and I see here that you also use the name D.J. Hennessy . So , how many other aliases have you used ?
That’s not an alias . That’s an abbreviation . I told her that .
And I see you have also applied under the name Dan Hennessy .
So , how many aliases have you used in , say , the last ten years ?
My loan application had been denied . No credit record , she said .
Do you have a credit card ?
Well , she got me . She got me . Trying to pull a fast one and get away with their money .
I told her I was in my fifties and , yeah , I had credit cards , that I had owned cars and houses and , yeah , I had a credit history . Duh ! I didn’t say Duh ! because I wasn’t ten years old . When I go into my second childhood , though , ( remember those ? ) I may well say Duh ! if I have to deal with another dolt like her over the phone .
So , they wouldn’t approve the loan . Worse than that was the tone of voice of the person representing their credit union over the phone . Meanwhile , I needed a car , so I made other arrangements .
A month or so later I received a second call from the infamous credit union . Very polite and friendly voice : ” Good news ! , “ they said . My loan had been approved . Wow ! I was so ecstatic I dropped my membership . Send me my two hundred and fifty bucks . Send it to any of my many aliases . I don’t care which one of them gets it .