WHAT IS A CREDIT SCORE


The transition from life in Kenya to life in America is fraught with very many challenges. Having been used to the simplistic Kenyan system, and having the comfort of family, relatives and friends to help you navigate through the daily struggles of everyday life, there move to the United States brings with it numerous challenges. Having to learn a new system, in a foreign country, without the support of family and friends can easily break ones will to survive.

Just like with any learning process, mistakes are bound to be made, due to a lack of understanding or a lack of mastery of the things the new system requires. The major difference that I have found with the between the Kenyan system and the American system is that, if you do not do follow the rules of the American system, or you error in some way, the American system is non forgiving, and rarely provides you with a second chance. It does not give you the leisure of forgetting what you have done in the past and starting afresh. This has its advantages but for a new immigrant fresh from the Africa, who is trying to learn the new system, the many mistakes come to haunt us.

Couple arguing over their financesThe one thing the American system thrives on, is a stable financial system. It is a system that rewards those who have good financial standing and are able to better manage their financial affairs. For those who are not able to better manage their financial affairs, the system is brutal in its punishment.

There are many African immigrants who have been heavily affected by poor Credit Scores. Not that they are financially irresponsible. On the contrary, they are able to balance a lot of financial responsibilities, and lots of expectations from back home. Like I said, the American system is unforgiving if you do not abide by its rules. The first one year or two is the toughest for an immigrant. There is a lot of learning, a lot of growing up. Managing your credit score is of utmost importance, as it affects the the interest rates on the loans you get, the jobs that you can get, how much you pay for your insurance and many other things. It is therefore important for the African immigrant to have a better understanding of their Credit Scores.

NO CLUE CREDITUnfortunately, most African immigrants learn by trial and error. There is a total lack of information our there even on the basics of Credit Scores how it impacts our live. Most of us are clueless as to the long lasting effects of missing a payment on a loan, having your car repossessed, having too many credit cards and not making at least, the minimum payment due. We are clueless on why we are getting high interest loans, while others get them a lot cheaper, we have no idea why the insurance premiums we are making are so high, or even in some cases why we did not get a job we qualified for. The truth is, all the financial transactions that we make or do in America are recorded one way or another. These records are used by others to make judgments on how reliable you are in the financial commitments that you make.

Watch this video to have a better understanding of what a credit score is, how its derived, what makes is go up and what makes it go down, and also how to improve on it.

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