I paid $170,000 for a 800 credit score

John Cook
4 min readAug 10, 2018

Listen, before I spend the next 5 minutes slamming credit scores, FICO and the financial services credit card industry in general, I will admit that I was once amendment about having a high credit score:

  • I thought a high credit score was a meaningful indicator of financial success
  • I thought a high credit score was an indicator of upward mobility
  • I thought a high credit score was the pre-requisite to wealth

When I turned 18, I opened my first credit card with 1st Financial Bank, who gave me a whopping $150 credit line. Like a good consumer, I grew that line of credit and a few others to around a little over $100,000 of available credit over a 10 year period as shown below:

Then I looked up at the age of 30 and asked my self:

“Where the hell is all my money going?”

This awesome line of consumer credit did not make me rich, produce any passive income, or act as a “catalyst” to wealth creation. Credit cards do the opposite. Credit cards keep the middle class, in the middle class and prevent the working poor from entering the middle class.

The most effective tool you and I have to create wealth is our income. Yet how are we supposed to ‘build wealth’ when the average American owes $5,700 and Californians owing $10,496!?? When your money is tied up in credit card and student loan payments, you can’t create wealth. I recently thought about how this applied to my personal…