Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Sip of Serendipity

Remember, back in January, when we toured O'Dell and New Belgium? No? Here is a reminder.

It just so happens that, tonight, on my way home from Ignite Fort Collins, I picked up some beer to restock our fridge. It also just so happened that Mighty Arrow was on sale.

Unpacking the beer at home, I was ready to utilize my new knowledge of decoding the New Belgium time stamp to see when these particular brews were born. Wait for it...



Yep. The 12 pack I just purchased was bottled exactly 4 hours 20 minutes after the beer that we pulled off the production line on our tour! Ain't life funny sometimes?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Car-Free in FC

We are officially car-free at the moment* so our breakfast plans this morning involved a combo of biking and busing.


Who needs a stinkin' car? :)

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*The (new in September) radiator in our van broke. Booo! Since it is fairly new, it appears that we can exchange it for a new one but that will take some time as it has to be shipped out and then a new one shipped in. Looks like we'll have plenty of time to get the hang of being car-free!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Since I am on the topic of finance, I have two excellent documentaries to recommend.

"Inside Job"

'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China. imdb


Video

"Maxed Out"

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America's Gulf Coast, it laid bare an uncomfortable reality-America is not only far from the world's wealthiest nation; it is crumbling beneath a staggering burden of individual and government debt. Maxed Out takes us on a journey deep inside the American debt-style, where everything seems okay as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. Sure, most of us may have that sinking feeling that something isn't quite right, but we're told not to worry. After all, there's always more credit! Maxed Out shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of "preferred customer" and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. By turns hilarious and profoundly disturbing, Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us. imdb



Video

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Post You Have All Been Waiting For!

Wherein I reveal the impact of short selling our house on my credit score!


February 4, 2010 (just before the short sale hit my credit):


Note that this was a scale of 830. I used the same company to get my scores both times (TrueCredit) and today they gave me my scores using a scale of 990. Why??? If they thought to confuse me, they FAILED! I know how to do math, yo.

February 4, 2010 in percentages:


February 6, 2011:


February 6, 2011 in percentages:

Comparison:


So my credit score dropped an average of 12% as a result of short selling our house (with one missed payment at the end of the short sale process). I have no idea if this can be unilaterally applied to other people in the same situation; how they calculate credit scores is something of a mystery and predicting what the effect would be was one of the larger irritations during the process. NOBODY could or would tell me. But hopefully this is a general guide of what to expect for those of you going through (or considering) the process. 

Discussion:

What do these numbers really mean, though, when translated into our reality? 

I have spent my entire life hearing about the importance my credit score. What I failed to fully appreciate at the time, however, was that my credit score really only mattered if I wanted to borrow money.

So for someone who is now allergic to borrowing money, how has my less than stellar credit score affected me? To address that, I will go over a few of the scarier predictions:

Myth: You will have a hard time renting a place to live.
"Oh crap, we will have to live with my parents!"*
Fact: Not only did we have no problem getting approved to rent our current place (which is a very cute little house in a great part of town), they did not require any additional deposits and even accepted that we were self-employed (i.e. no predictable, regular paychecks).

Myth: Your credit card could be cancelled.
"Oh crap, how will we reserve plane tickets?!"
Fact: This was actually told to me by a credit repair company. As you might have guessed, our credit card was not cancelled. Why in the world would they do that?

Myth: When you move to a new city and set up utilities for your new rental, they will charge you a deposit to set-up the service because your credit isn't good enough to waive the fee and you don't have a history with the company.
"Oh crap, we'll feel looked down on by the customer service rep!"
Fact: This is the only way we have been impacted by our credit (and was actually not one that we were warned about in advance). But it was only about $100 and is refundable so...not really a big deal.

And now for the disclaimers...I am not an attorney or a certified financial planner; our story is factually correct but obviously anecdotal. That being said, I hope it helps those of you in similar situations feel more positive about the future!

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* Just kidding! Love you, Mom and Dad! :)