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Columnist: Treat credit as something of value

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

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Something of value … your credit rating!

You say, “I do not need to borrow money. No big deal.” When you buy insurance, guess what, they check your credit before they move forward. If you pay late, you will pay top dollar for insurance. If you want a credit card, they can charge you from 0 percent to 39 percent so, yes, your credit is really important.

You should call at least one time per year and get a FREE credit report. Why should you do this? Do it to make sure no one is using your good name to buy something.

One time on my report there were two boats and a truck from an Alabama bank that I never had been in. It happens, folks. This is free, go order your credit report and read it in detail.

Say you want to co-sign with a friend so they can get a new car? Do you want to lose that person as a friend?

There’s a 99 percent chance that you will. There is a good reason the banks do not want to loan him money without a sucker — I mean friend — signing for him or her.

The book of Proverbs says do not sign for someone else. When they do not make the payments, you will be paying for it out of your account.

You cannot go get the car and sell it. If he stops making insurance payments, guess what, you will pay that also. You will not be friends anymore, so either give the car to them or do not sign. They cannot afford it.

If Johnny or Jane have such a good job, let them save and save some more. They will get a loan when they prove they can manage money.

I am sure some of you are saying, “Not my friend, he would never do that to me.” Your relationship will never be the same. If the banks say “no,” there is a reason.

Number 3 loaned Jane $100 and she won’t pay him back. If you value that relationship, call that friend and say, “That was a gift” and move on with your life.

I loaned a friend money one time that I could not afford to lose. He was getting a divorce and he did not pay me back. I broke my own rule regarding money and friends. I prayed about it, forgave him and wrote it off.

A year went by and he called me and said, “_______ is looking at a 1.5 million land deal.” I wrote the contract and the Good Lord blessed me. Had to learn I liked him more than the money so I got paid back many times over.

God is Good! A true story!!!

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.