I’m not (Credit)Worthy


When I lost my house four years ago, I realized I had swallowed some bullshit.  Sure, I always considered myself to be a counter-culture, alternative sorta gal, but somewhere along the line I bought into the American Myth that I was a number.  A credit score.

It was frightening and freeing, walking away from the house that was falling apart, that I could not afford.  It was full of bad breakdowns and stories, a depressive episode that left the house full of junk I collected from back alleys.  It was full of better times and memories, like wearing crazy costumes and dancing in the living room, and manic gardening episodes late into the night.

Over the years, I’ve told myself that I’m more than a number and that who cares about credit cards and scores.  Until yesterday.  Until my daughter wants, badly, to go to a private college I cannot afford.  Until someone needs to be credit worthy to sign loan forms that will let her go.

And it smacked me in the face.  That while it’s bullshit, it is how the world works.  And I can logically pick it apart, say it’s unfair and that it doesn’t offer equal access and why does my kid have to pay for my mistakes when she is clearly destined to be a more responsible person that I ever will be.  I can get angry (I have) and cry (I have) and remain stressed and sleepless (I am) until April slips into May and those college choice forms need to be signed.  I can argue and bitch and lament till I’m a clichéd blue-in-the-face lady.  It won’t change the simple fact that I’m not credit worthy and unable to co-sign the paperwork that would give her an opportunity to be credit worthy.

And that, my readers, makes me regret years of noncompliance and making fun of the American dream and wishing, just for a moment, that I had a suburban house with a smooth lawn and a beige SUV and a savings account.  A husband and a solid income that could pick up those extra loan payments for her and open private college doors fast and wide.

Instead, I am an eccentric, artsy, poverty-stricken, mad woman with a lousy credit score.  And though it sucks, I tell myself, maybe she wouldn’t be such a cool young lady with big dreams and brilliance if we had that SUV and our walls were beige.

I tell myself these things because I don’t know what else to do.


22 Responses to “I’m not (Credit)Worthy”

  1. I feel for you. When my husband was unexpectedly killed and left me with four kids to raise, I went through a similar realization. I really hate that this world leaves you with so few options if you don’t meet a certain numerical qualification. I send good thoughts your way.

    • Thanks. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles as well. I guess it makes us persevere, though there are days I wanna give up. I’ll take all the good thoughts I can get!

  2. 3 BehindMyBooks

    This freaking sucks, and I can honestly say I understand it form the other side. I was in the same situation with my parents, and while I understood I also wanted to get into a time machine and beat their 20-something alcohol addled brains over the head with a brick. But it wouldn’t make a difference.

    Some private colleges are bogus, some public ones are magical, and she will find her way with or without the private school. As much as you wish she didn’t ever have to experience that kind of crap situation, you know as well as I do that they crud we deal with is what makes us who we become. And who we become is pretty darn awesome, and entirely unspoiled. 🙂

    I hope she can find another school, or someone else to sign for her. I’m sure it will all work out.

    • Yea, it sucks. I’m trying to stay positive. It’s hard, though. When I started my blog, I wanted to highlight my creative work, but capture some honesty of every day life. You do that so well in your work. I wanted to write even when it was hard (which it is right now)

  3. Soul Sister!! You’ve been reading my mail again!!!!! Holy shit!! Isn’t it funny that we try to make our shitty fucking results look like conscious choices?? Oh yeah I CHOSE to be in this situation! Yeah right because everyone would really choose to be in so much pain, would choose to be humiliated, would choose this sadness and regret and guilt! Right! I chose it. I am sometimes a victim of my disease, and that fucking sucks. I have severe neurological deficits that cause me to have the hardest time doing the simplest things! Like holding my shit together! And even when I am taking responsibility and seeing doctors and shrinks and taking medicine, I can still fall down. It sucks having this illness. That’s the long and short of it. I’m sorry you have it and I’m sorry I have it but we do. //RANT OVER//

    • I love your rants! You can say, “It’s worth it that I am bipolar cuz I rant so well…” Another justification. Yea, you are right. It sucks. Plain and simple. Some days more than others. Today, being one of the bad ones.

      • Thank you for the HUGE giggle!! You, today, even feeling shitty, are still so emotionally generous. Look, just stay with today. Today is shitty.

  4. We should talk.

  5. 9 pinklightsabre

    Like the honesty in your post. Ironic, because I live in the suburbs and basically have a beige SUV (it’s maroon) and a savings account, and sometimes bemoan losing my edge…bizarre. Thank you for sharing.

    • Yea. I knew that some of my readers would have that damn SUV! It’s a stereotype, of course, but I realized that I should be honest in my blog and not shy away from how I really feel. Thanks for the comment.

  6. They won’t accept student loans, grants, or scholarships??

    I agree with an above poster though, maybe she’ll end up going to a different school and it will be amazing. 🙂

    • That’s after student loans, grants, etc… There is still quite a bit more left to pay! It’s sad, but I hope you are right. I’m keeping my fingers crossed something will work out. Thanks for your feedback.

  7. Anymore, it isn’t just it isn’t just happening to those who have be reckless. The only difference is those who haven’t been reckless are sometimes forewarned. However, no matter how prepared one is, it still happened.

  8. Lennon, this IS really the hard part.. I have guilt and regret for what I did that made my son have the problems he has, which are not the practical ones you are talking about but the emotional immaturity and inability to open up to anybody. Although his other parent did more to produce these results than me I find myself helpless and unable to even begin to tackle his problems or help him. This is making me squirt out big tears and has been my main issue and obsession for many years. He is a good person and not a drunk so far so maybe there is hope. Or am I grasping at straws? Just thought I’d join in the fun.

    • Yea, parental guilt. We could start a whole blog under that theme. Sigh. I guess we just keep moving on, huh? Thanks for keeping tabs with me, Ann and sharing.

  9. 17 nellmorningstar

    Lennon, I always told my kids (and still do) that there are more than one way to get anything they want. If she really wants to go to THAT school, help her find some creative ways to make it happen (start out at community college, then transfer in for the more important last 2 years, get a job working at the school so she can go for free, go there for graduate school, when it really matter the most, hunt down scholarships etc. that could help bridge the gap, find another family member who is more credit worthy and willing to cosign, etc. etc. etc.) Do NOT take all the guilt of the problem onto yourself, it is not all yours! And remember that the more kids contribute toward what they think they want, the more critical they will be as consumers, whether it is light up sneakers or private education. I think that the truth of your last paragraph are important to hold onto.

    • Ah…Your words of wisdom all well appreciated. You shined a different light on it. Thanks, Nell. I’m getting there slowly…

  10. I don’t want to be all rainbows and unicorns, but sometimes filling out those forms will loosen the purse strings at the private college. I came from a largely unsupportive and indifferent mother. She also happened to not make a lot of money. I had to shake her to even file her taxes my senior year of high school. After the (magical! beautiful!) private college saw she wasn’t going to be any sort of benefactress, I was offered more financial aid. And unsecured loans. I’ve found that private schools have a lot more creative ways to help students that they want, be there. Sure, I had to work three or four jobs, and I’ll be paying off my loans the rest of my life, but I’m glad I had the experience.
    Sign the forms, and have your daughter throw herself at the aid office’s feet.

  11. 21 AR

    Ha, I agree with the commenter who is worried about having lost his edge. I feel like I’ve lost that scared wandering me that never knew quite what was right but “kept on keeping on” anyway. I have a stable income and a husband and a nice house…it’s so BORING. I don’t have a daughter counting on me, though, and I know that’s where your worries come from. However, I went to a good school and did it all on my own with grants and scholarships- encourage her to do very well in school, to keep her own future in mind, and she can do it! If she doesn’t get to go to a private school- well guess what, there are great public schools out there. Your life doesn’t change that much because of private school if you have goals and focus. It’s up to HER, and better she knows that now.

    • All great points. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that something will work out, somehow. I guess I want her to have the chances I did not – maybe she’ll want a beige SUV? Haha…

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