Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's Hope For A Return To Responsible Banking

I have not borrowed much money in my life, but what I have borrowed was done when I was young and when I had very little savings. Duh? So when I wanted to buy that gorgeous '73 Jeep I went to the Bank of Lake Placid and sat down with someone in the back of the bank and behind a wooden desk who had a spartan office devoid of personal items such as pictures of their children or husband. And contrarily asked that I wanted to borrow the money to buy a Jeep. They asked how I planned to repay the loan, and I said that I had two jobs working at the ski shop down the street and pumped gas on Saturdays and Sundays at the gas station across the street. After a few phone calls to verify my employment and discussion with the bank president (he lived next door to us) would return and give their decision. This time, yes.

I guess where I'm going with this is that when we as a country make it so easy to borrow money and allow it to be done either over the phone or over the Internet we reduce it to gambling. Some person takes your information. Looks up your credit score online with Experion or some other credit reporting agency and based upon your score determines your ability to repay the loan and the amount of risk you present and based upon both factors assigns an interest rate for the loan. No direct eye contact, sound of your voice, your value as a customer etc. that would allow the loan officer to make a valued judgement.

The reliance on Your FICO score has changed all of this. Somebody years ago sold the banks on the reliability of scoring and the unintended consequence of this and is part of what contributed to what we are presently dealing with.
Let's see!
And this makes my point and I guess he wants to keep his job, can't blame him for that but the damage that is done by loaning money to people you don't know is risky and only allows mathematical decision and not those based on ability to pay and NEED. I could be all wet on this but somehow I see the 50's and 60's model being less risky and better for society as a whole. Just saying.......

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