``There's no question about it... the whole credit industry is a real racket. They've got us over a barrel or under their thumb, pick the cliché you like, but there's just no way out... we simply have to care about our FCIO scores, whether we like it or not. And if we don't, it's going to cost us a bundle.

I've always been frustrated by the whole FICO score thing... I just don't think that a number assigned by a company after scoring a mysterious test is likely to be the end-all-be-all predictor of how you'll pay your bills in the future. In fact, I know it it's not.

I only started paying attention to the whole FICO score thing a few years ago, when I discovered, along with the rest of the nation, that credit card companies were allowed to increase your interest rate to usurious levels, or cut your available credit limit in half... unilaterally, and at any time they desired. And since then I've learned that a low FICO score doesn't just stop you from getting loans, or cause you to pay higher interest rates, it also can mean paying higher insurance premiums, and it can even stop you from getting hired by some employers... it's absolutely incredible how many ways that one number can either help or harm you.''

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