Sometimes life brings you embarrassing moments; these are the times you wish you could evaporate. Here are suitable reactions for those less-than-ideal moments when you find out in public that your credit is not exactly stellar.
"I'm Sorry Sir, but your card's been declined."
Now everyone at the table has a clue about where you stand financially. John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for SmartCredit.com says to explain that the maganetic strip must have been damaged and hand the waiter another card. If you are indeed maxed out, then call the credit card company and opt in for the "over-the-limit" fee. They'll allow the charge, and you'll be charged a fee for doing so.
"Jane, we need to discuss this wage garnishment issue."
It's wise to be proactive about a matter like this. Tell your boss before the judge comes knocking at the door. It will be comforting to know you cannot get fired over a wage garnishment, unless there's been more than one in a 12-month period.
"Rent to you with your bad credit? Ha!"
This happend to Matthew and Fiona Peters in a crowded leasing office. Matthew says he tells people in this situation to emphasize your finer points. "You could say, "My credit is bad, but I'm employed and make it a point to always pay for my housing first."
"Great, as soon as we see your credit report, we can complete your job application."
Don't deny them the ability to obtain your report, as that won't look good. The advice here is the same as the garnishment issue. Be transparent and let them know. They should appreciate your honesty.
"Darling, I can't wait to start a life with you...buy a house, have kids..."
Another opportunity to be upfront and honest. This way you'll establish open communications throughout your relationship. When communications aren't open, the relationship falls apart.
"I need to speak to Mary about a delinquent bill."
It can be earth-shattering when a collection call goes to a roommate, a relative, or the workplace. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act under the Federal Trade Commission prohibits third-party collectors from discussing your debt with anyone but you. If you ask them to stop calling you at work, they must comply.
"OK Phil, charge these expenses and we'll reimburse you."
Oh no! Almost 30% of Americans live without credit. Tell your company you only use cash and ask if you can use a company credit card.
How to React
In most situations, use your old-fashioned common sense. Whatever you do, don't have a meltdown. The situation could be mortifying, but take a deep breath and think your way out of it. The above suggestions should help in almost any situation.
What are some of the most horrific "bad credit moments" you've experienced and how did you handle the situation? Please let me hear from you.