A Long Journey
As I grew in my home village in Kenya, I always had dreams of living in the United States of America. I was born in a very small town in a town called Nyeri in a small country called Kenya in Africa. They used to say that America was the land of dreams. Actually, that’s what I heard and read from the huge collection of literature in my father’s house. Yes, he was the American man in Africa and he always insisted that we could get and earn anything and everything as long as we ‘read our books’.
According to my dad, it was long journey to success. However, if I could read hard enough and earn myself a scholarship I could at least land in the land of dreams. I followed his advice and really read those books aiming to get a scholarship to the famed land of dreams. That’s what I did and I finally landed in the United States of America.
Foreigner in a foreign land
I secured a scholarship and landed in the US just before the 2008 mortgage crisis. After much celebration at home, I flew to the famed ‘land of dreams’ to make my dream a reality. I was well received and hosted by my friends from Kenya. I was introduced to the American way of life and I must confess it was way better than what I was used to at home in Kenya. I joined college, studied my four years and then dived into the congested job market.
I acquired a job and started earning my living like any other American. That’s when I witnessed the real American dream and the discipline it takes to own a piece of it.
The unexpected catch
One of the most amazing things in the land of dreams is the easy access to credit. I must confess that the easy access to credit really enchanted me. After I got admitted in campus and started living in the US, I really accessed credit. And I mean I really accessed it, literally. I had three credit cards and it felt wonderful to buy anything that I wanted. I could take my friends out for drinks, I could go and buy high end items, I could make long distance calls, I could even sleep in five start hotels. All at the expense of the small plastic things called the credit cards. But there was one thing that I did not know, that there is something called a FICO credit score.
The FICO credit score is a credit rating algorithm that is used to gauge the creditworthiness of a person. After finishing college and getting a job, I decided to exploit the American dream in a bigger way. I decided to quit the job and utilize my business consultancy skills in a free lance manner. I established my own company and started offering business consultancy services in California. Then I decided to own a home or in other words to get a mortgage. I was flabbergasted when every bank turned me away due to my reckless credit record all in the name of the FICO credit score.
Anyway, I later acquired citizenship through marriage and I have since realized the folly of using a credit card recklessly. I am now a proud owner of a home in the US and I must say that the credit rating really helps to streamline one’s spending.