Credit Score

Hi Brooke,

I moved to America two years ago and was introduced for the first time to the idea of credit score. I was told that they way I am able to get a higher score is by taking on a credit card, run transactions with it, which means, getting myself into debt, and paying as much of it each month as possible, so that my score will grow and be high, which will allow me to borrow more money from banks or mortgage companies.

This is very different from back home in Europe, where the community where I lived in, we spend only in accordance to what we earn. We don’t owe money to anyone or any source. If we have the money, we buy. If we don’t, we save and buy later.
And no one gives us a score for having big debts. In fact, we would feel stressed knowing we owe money to a credit card company AND paying interest on top of that.

I am wondering what is your opinion on that. If we live in a capitalist society (which is a beautiful concept) that grades you based on your debt and thus encourages you to have more of it, should we follow the herd?