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Take The Credit Hit And RUN

, , , , , , | Related | August 22, 2021

I’m getting ready to buy my first house. I’m talking to my mom about my mortgage application. It may be relevant that I’m female; I’m not sure if this is mansplaining or “parentsplaining.”

Me: “I don’t think my credit score should be a problem. It was 760 the last time I checked it.”

My stepdad walks in, overhears this, and decides his expertise is desperately needed in this conversation.

Stepdad: “You checked your credit score?”

Me: “Yes—”

Stepdad: “That could be a problem. I don’t know why, but checking it makes it lower.”

Having researched this when I got my credit card, I DO know why — at least the basics. There are two kinds of credit checks: hard and soft. Hard checks are done by people considering whether to loan you money, and lots of them in a row is a red flag that you’re either taking out lots of loans or repeatedly getting turned down and applying again. I also know that the credit score website my bank recommends does NOT do hard checks and won’t affect my credit. I attempt to explain this to my stepdad.

Me: “I—”

Stepdad: *Patronizing* “You need to be careful, okay? You could hurt your credit score. I don’t know why, but it does.”

Me: “But—”

Stepdad: *Annoyed* “I don’t know why! But it does.”

I DO KNOW why! If he’d stop interrupting me just to say, “I don’t know,” I could explain it! But since that’s not going to happen, I give up, shut up, and nod. After my stepdad leaves, my mom says:

Mom: “You need to let it go and not argue with him. It’s really unpleasant for me to listen to you two fighting. If you loved me, you wouldn’t argue with him.”

Of course! How could I have failed to recognize Mom’s suffering, having to hear me make not one, but TWO attempts to talk, and my stepdad steamrolling over me, which is naturally also my fault? Obviously, SHE’S the real victim here!

Luckily, I was absolutely right about my credit score — which somehow wasn’t trashed by a single soft check — and my mortgage application was accepted. I’ll move out of their house in two weeks.

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