Monday 27 July 2009

Will we ever escape?

14st 12lb, 4.0 units. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that life in our little house in Scratterville is driving us both round the bend. I have taken to going into the office kindly provided for me by a client, not because they have anything much for me to do (or anything at all, really, as I discovered when I asked around at lunchtime), but simply to enjoy some space and peace. I used both of those today to complete a newspaper column in which the ever-understanding Mrs H allowed me to cast some aspersions on her driving which were definitely exaggerated for comic effect, and to relieve my feelings about certain car-related issues in this blog.

While feeling better for that, the depressing fact remains that enemy forces are massing to block our most obvious escape route from Scratterville. Because, as I expected, when I tracked the progress of the credit checks on my application to rent a larger house, everything is shaping up nicely for its rejection. I did not earn very much in the year to March 2008, the last for which I can produce accounts of sorts; I had no need to do so as, at that stage, I had not even heard of the woman who has since become Mrs H, let alone dreamt of fathering a child. The focus on these historic numbers is, of course, deeply flawed because I could have earned a million pounds in that period, blown it all on whores and Class A drugs, and made not a penny since. However, that’s the way it is.

I should have seen it coming, given that I am rejected out of hand every time I apply for a new credit card, and only the other day one of the few I have got was withdrawn because, the provider informed me, they felt obliged to do so “as a responsible lender” because I hadn't loaded it with profitable debt. I cut up my American Express card at some point in the 1980s (probably because the word “American” irked me) and they wrote to me at least once a month for almost 20 years urging me to come back. They finally launched a “money back” card that seemed quite appealing, so I applied for it. And was immediately rejected. Whereupon I wrote an indignant letter setting out my net worth and lack of debt, and – most tellingly, I thought – the fact that they had recently issued the self-same card to two of my colleagues whose salaries and bonuses I set; I could therefore state with some confidence that they earned vastly less than I did. They replied thanking me for my letter but saying that sadly “I did not meet their criteria”.

Still, at least they have never sent me another card application since then, so it could be worse.

A friend e-mailed pointing out where I had gone wrong. Apparently I need to keep a regular if not obsessive check my Experian credit rating and work on raising it by applying for every credit card I can (even though I don’t want them) and running them all right up to their credit limits. Then, in the crazy world of contemporary finance, I will apparently become an AAA credit risk.

No wonder we are mired in a global banking crisis, then.

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