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Archive for the ‘Credit’ Category


Posted by Tim Bryce on October 30, 2009

I recently saw a local merchant close his doors after only one year of operation. I don’t want to get into the type of business he was in, but suffice it to say it could have been successful had the proprietor tried a little harder than he did. Instead, he chalked the defeat up to the recession and simply walked away from the business without clearing out his shelves and equipment, or paying his bills. In fact, his mail piled up at the door unopened, and creditors hounded the landlord to let them in the building to retrieve their unpaid equipment. What I found most interesting from this experience though, was the proprietor’s attitude who couldn’t have cared less. He wasn’t the slightest bit embarrassed, apologetic or ashamed of himself. In fact, if you talked to him, you would get the impression that everything was great and he had no problems. He literally just walked away from the company leaving behind a pile of bills and stiffing his creditors.

As a Floridian, this attitude is not exactly uncommon and we have seen many people happily declare bankruptcy at the expense of others. We have some of the most liberal bankruptcy laws in the country. One moment a guy is declaring bankruptcy and leaving his creditors in the lurch for considerable sums of money, and the next moment he wants to be their best friend in a new venture. There is no guilt, no shame, no embarrassment. And I guess I really don’t understand this attitude. I don’t care if he has a tune on his lips or a song in his heart, a deadbeat is a deadbeat.

I don’t consider someone a deadbeat if they have failed in business, yet want to genuinely make amends for their actions. A deadbeat is someone who feels no guilt in abusing the system to his advantage. Even a beggar has honor if he acknowledges his own deficiencies. In contrast, a deadbeat is only interested in one thing, himself. He has no concern for his employees, his vendors, or his customers. He just moves along to his next scam.

I don’t know where this mindset originated from. Years ago, declaring bankruptcy would be considered a scarlet letter in society, but it’s not like that anymore. Now, people are congratulated for outfoxing the system and leaving a trail of debt in their wake, regardless of the people hurt along the way. Is our society so perverted that we applaud bankruptcy as opposed to success? I’m sorry, I just don’t get it, and most likely never will.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For Tim’s columns, see:

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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Bankruptcy, Credit, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tim Bryce on August 11, 2009

Whether we like it or not, our lives are greatly impacted by our financial credit scores. If you have a good credit rating, lending institutions are more than happy to loan you the money to buy a house, a boat, a car, help you start a business venture, or whatever. If you have a bad rating, you’re basically stuck in Nowheresville.

For our younger readers, your credit score begins the day you get a revolving line of credit, such as a credit card or gasoline card, or purchase something on time, such as a house, furniture, or whatever. Your ability to pay off debt is monitored and scored from this point to the day you finally die (and pass your financial troubles to your heirs). In other words, it is an albatross hanging around all of our necks.

Interestingly, most consumers pay little attention to their credit scores which are ultimately maintained by three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. A lot of people seem to prefer operating in the dark. I guess ignorance is bliss. To the rest of us, it’s a wise move to periodically look over your credit report and make sure it is an accurate accounting of your credit history. If it is wrong, it could do considerable damage to your reputation from a financial perspective.

Your credit score is primarily a reflection of your ability to pay your debt. Period. Remarkably, your income is of little concern in this regards. Just because you make a lot of money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will use it to pay off your debt. Instead, they carefully monitor your credit cards and loans. In particular, they analyze the amount of credit available to you, your outstanding balance, and if you are paying it off on time. Late payments are flagged accordingly. From this, they calculate a credit score which lending institutions use to pass judgment on you. Having a good credit score, therefore, is a sign you are able to manage your finances responsibly. It should be noted that gender, race, and religion are not considered when determining scores.

Although the credit report is available free to you once a year, the credit score must be purchased separately for a modest fee. Perhaps the best place to begin to study your credit profile is at the web site, Annual Credit Report, a free service to guide you through requesting a credit check.

We all understand what is necessary to raise credit scores; in a nutshell, don’t bite off more than you can chew, and pay it off on time. However, knowing this and having the discipline to implement it are two different things, as evidenced by our current recession which was started, in large part, by people defaulting on home loans (and don’t get me started on the idiots who loaned them the money in the first place).

At the time of this writing, the Experian credit bureau reported that America’s “National Score Index” was 692 which, by my estimate, is a “Good” credit rating (“B”). This is either an overly generous estimate or perhaps Experian is telling us our economy is not as bad as we thought and is indicative of a healthy rebound. I suspect the latter as their numbers are based on fact, not speculation.

If anything, this recession has taught us the virtue of paying attention to credit ratings, both for the consumer and for lending institutions. Like it or not, it is how we quantify an individual’s financial responsibility. Regardless of your credit score though, always remember this: The less money you have, the less likely you will get a loan. Conversely, if you already have a lot of money, you’ll get all the cash and credit you want. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. I don’t make the rules, I just report them.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

(A tip of the hat to T.D.P. for the topic suggestion)

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For a listing of Tim’s Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Download Tim’s new eBook (PDF), “Bryce’s Pet Peeve Anthology – Volume I” (free) DOWNLOAD).

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Credit, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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