A bunch of years ago I was dating online - back when it wasn't as popular - and one question people asked on the forums was "if you had one superpower, what would it be?" My answer was the gift of foresight - to know what may come of decisions or to be able to see into the future enough to know if things will turn out all right based on my choices. The people that responded to my answer said this was not a superpower at all. I disagree.
The only bit of foresight I've ever had in my life was with credit. My mom went to Australia on an all expense paid vacation with one of her sisters back in the early 80's. The sister that disliked her the most, actually, and to this day I have no idea why she chose my mom to use the second ticket. Anyway, the only thing she had to pay for was souvenirs and since she didn't have a lot of money she took out a loan. She'd been banking at this bank/branch for years but they didn't recognize her as an individual but instead as Mrs Husband. She got the loan...but on my dad's credit.
I was infuriated at the time. I thought it was stupid that the bank didn't see my mom as a person in her own right and the only way to be acknowledged was as a wife. (It only just occurred to me right now that perhaps she didn't get the loan because she didn't have a job or had poor credit. The details are fuzzy as it was almost 30 years ago.) I decided right then that I would be my own person when it came to money and credit.
I got a bank account around 16 years old and kept my own account even after getting a joint account with my ex back when he was my boyfriend. I applied for and received a Visa card at 21. I paid all bills in my name on time and in my lifetime have only bounced one cheque (newly instituted debit had fees and they were more than I'd bargained for), forgot to sign one cheque causing a bill to be late, bounced a direct withdrawl payment once, and mistakenly paid the wrong Visa card online causing one Visa to miss a payment. Other than that my credit is spotless.
This fantastic credit is exactly what I was aiming for and knew it would take years to reap the rewards. Now I am not ever turned down for anything when a credit check is done, I get raises in my limits without needing a credit check, and my interest rates are outstandingly small. So small that when I visited my bank branch to ask for something they called up my credit info and the rep had to pause and re-read my interest rate, saying it is the second lowest they offer (the lowest being a business account). Or when I called to cancel two credit cards today one asked why I would cancel when my interest rate is a full 2% below anybody else's.
The only glitch in my credit was when my ex and I separated and my Visa cancelled my account - without informing me. I went into the branch to ask why and they said my husband was in the process of declaring bankruptcy or something similar and it was their policy to cancel the account in that event. I told them the account was mine, not his, not ours. That I opened the account in 1991 and added him as a secondary cardholder some years later. They told me that when I added him to the account it became a joint account as he was a man. I. was. not. impressed.
And now I'm secure in the knowledge that I have pristine credit that will get me whatever my financial heart desires...within reason according to my income :) Now all I want is that same gift of foresight in other areas of my life...please?