Still wondering if you are fundable? It depends on your current profile and how much work you need to put in to achieve that perfect fundability level. In this episode, Merrill Chandler gets animated with animal analogies to help us remember each fundability profile. He shares the lessons of playing by the rules and finding reliable financial information.
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Funding Animal Totem
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about some icons. We’re going to be talking about credit totems like spirit animals that represent your unconscious behavior and how that is being measured by lenders. It’s all about pushing the envelope and learning these insider secrets, applying these different strategies and tactics so that you can align yourself with what’s being measured by lenders. If we know what’s being measured by lenders, then we can align our behaviors with it and create those fundability opportunities. Let’s talk about the unconscious behaviors that you’re already manifesting and what’s being measured. In my book, we go into a super deep dive on this. You can find that at FundingHackers.com and then click Merrill’s books and follow the link. It’s $19.95 on Amazon, but I will pay for the book if you pay for the shipping. All you have to do is go in there and we’ll send that to you. Let’s talk about those unconscious borrower behaviors because these are the fun little bits that are going to help us understand what’s being measured.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the ostrich. This is the first of our totems. The ostrich is the avoider, “I don’t want to know anything. Don’t tell me anything. I’m all about making sure that I avoid the facts or the truth.” How many of you don’t like looking at your bank accounts? You don’t like looking at your checking account. You don’t go online and check your balances. How many of you avoid those things? Because the avoider is measured in many ways by the FICO software. The avoider is an individual who’s using their check guarantee cards because you’re popping through zero on those accounts. That’s a no-no. That’s a fundability landmine. The avoiders are also measured in a way where you are late on a payment. Your payment is due on the 1st, but you pay it on the 2nd or the 3rd. It’s not 30 days late so you’re like, “It’s no big deal,” but FICO is measuring that you are not paying it exactly on the due date. These are all ostrich behaviors. They’re all avoidance mechanisms. These avoidance mechanisms are measured by the lender and by the FICO software.
The next one is the rat. The rat is all about quick and dirty. It’s any credit at any cost because you believe that if someone gives you money, you can put it to the best use. The funny thing is FICO and lender software measure this behavior in the number of inquiries that you get or the types of inquiries you get. We’ve discussed in previous episodes what we call the consumer finance accounts. These are the low-value junk cards, the tier-four 40% junk cards. Tier-four at 100% and 80% contribution levels, those are the Credit Ones, the First Premier Banks and the First National Bank of Omaha. These are credit subprime offers that when you pull those inquiries, they’re docking you more than they pull other inquiries. One of the things that we have to remember is the rat is trying to get as much as possible, as fast as possible.Know how lenders measure you, then you can align your behaviors with it and create fundable opportunities for yourself. Click To Tweet
We don’t want to be credit rats. We want to specifically look for and obtain credit that is going to benefit our personal profiles and benefit our qualified funding entities. If you have a rat behavior, you just own any credit and any costs because you think you can leverage it. You’re actually telling FICO to downgrade the value of your profile. You’re abusing your funding golden goose because those finance companies and subprime lenders, every one of them literally rats you out as a consumer borrower or as a subprime borrower. That’s killing your reputation and slows any progress to becoming a professional borrower.
Then we have the ram. The ram is the isolationist, cash only, no credit, avoid the system. I want to highlight a story. Way back in one of our episodes, we talked about Frank who in his twenties became a Dave Ramsey fan. I have no problem with Dave Ramsey if you want to get out of the system. If you want to pay off your house and buy your cars with cash and have no credit whatsoever, Godspeed and God bless. There’s no problem. You are an isolationist and no lender is ever going to lend to you, not for a mortgage, not for business lines of credit.
Frank became a Dave Ramsey fan at 29. He got out of debt, did debt reduction and lost his entire credit profile over the course of ten years. When all of a sudden, he was tired of being a W-2 and wanted to make more than his job allowed him to make, he wanted to get into real estate investing and couldn’t because there was no credit profile whatsoever. Having paid everything off is not what lenders are looking for. They’re looking to be able to measure your treatment of other people’s money. If you want cash-only, no credit and avoid the system, that makes you a ram. I’ve tons of people come to me asking for help on how to establish a new credit profile. After I went to prison, I was three and a half years there, my entire credit profile totally shit the bed and I had to rebuild from scratch.
The credit profile that I have now, which is in the mid-700s, I built that from scratch. Everything having aged out over time because when I got home, I didn’t start building my profile until I’d gotten rid of the derogatory listings that we’ve talked about that is possible and how to minimize those. When all my positive accounts and all my negative accounts had come off the profile, that’s when I started building a brand new profile. I have a spectacular perfect profile now. You can do it. Dave Ramsey fans, anybody who’s been out of the system, you can come back as I did. I started from scratch after a financially devastating period of my life called jail. You can come back as well. Even if you’re a ram, you can reestablish and build a perfect profile. That’s the ram. It does not get credit and avoids credit at all costs.
The next one is the chicken. Eyes down and scratching out a living, the chicken is the victim. The chicken is always at effect. We’ve talked about being at cause and being at effect. There are two famous versions of the chicken. The chicken is the one who’s scared and always afraid and Chicken Little was the one who was saying, “The sky is falling.” It’s that same fear. You’re a victim to your fear. You’re afraid that everything’s going to go sideways or you can’t count on the important things in your life. You operate from eyes down. You scratch out a living, paycheck to paycheck, no risks, no rewards. I’m not shaming any of these. What I’m saying is that FICO and lending software are designed to measure this.
Let’s say you do have a couple of credit accounts. If you don’t put any charges on it because you’re afraid you’re not going to be able to make the payment, FICO is measuring that you’re not putting on charges on those credit accounts and keeping them active. At some point, if you’re inactive too long, they’ll shut the account down. FICO lender software is measuring these fear perspectives that we have embodied in the credit totem of the chicken. There’s the fox. I’ve been told the fox is an elegant creature and that we should use a weasel here. Think of the fox or the weasel as the schemer. The schemer is like, “I will do what I can to game the system.” That is not what we do.
Gaming the system is not what fundability optimization is about. We’re here to learn the rules of the game, operate according to the rules, master the rules and play to win. We go back to the NBA analogy where we’re looking to be drafted by Citibank, Wells Fargo, BB&T, PNC, all the tier-one and tier-two banks. We’re looking to be drafted because they love our stats, FICO software. Those stats tell that we’re professionals at this game. We know how to turn a profit for ourselves using their money and for them using their money. That’s the game we want to play. The weasel is looking to game it. It’s looking to see how you cannot follow the rules. This is the black hat version of hacking. We talk about positive hacks, the white hat hacking, because that’s insider secrets. These are individuals who are trying to take advantage of the system. We’re not here to take advantage of the system. We’re here to play it and play it to win. No gaming the system. We are working the system to play the game at a masterful level.
Next, we have the sheep. The sheep does what they’re told. They’re the follower. “Why did you close that card?” “Because my mortgage broker told me to do that.” “Why did you pay that collection off without getting it deleted?” “My mortgage broker told me to pay it off.” I don’t mind that you follow a leader. I don’t want to be your guru. I’ve said this before and I’m going to tell you again, the greatest master is not the one who has the largest number of followers. The greatest master is the one who develops the most number of masters. That’s me. I want you to learn fundability optimization. I want you to learn the funding game. I want you to be all-star players of the funding game. The only thing that I want from you is when you win, tell me that you implemented these things and we grow our client’s fundings. That’s how I measure the success in my business.
It’s not how many clients I made or how much annual revenues, it’s how many clients got funded. That’s what tells me I had success. If you say, “I got a $20,000 credit card on my business from using your system,” that is my success. That’s what I want you to tell me about. Those are clients and students funded. That’s the number. I don’t want you to follow me. I don’t want you to believe me, except if it makes sense to you and it creates positive results for yourself. I want you to become a master of this game, not just following me. I’m happy to be your coach. I’m happy to be your teacher to that limited degree. Once you know it, you have to play the game.
While that is a safe way to be, if you’re following the wrong information, you’re in trouble. If you go to CreditSense and look at the testimonials or for those of you who are members of the Funding Hackers Facebook Group, look at the testimonials of people who have joined bootcamp, done the bootcamp and then been blown away at all the things that they learned that were wrong. That’s being a sheep. I’m not angry at you. In a couple more episodes, we’re going to be talking about people who pretend to be business lenders and they give you credit instruments that aren’t even business instruments. They end up on your personal. I’m not mad at you. I’m not angry or frustrated at you. I’m saying follow the right flock, the right leader. Find and follow somebody who’s going to take you to your goals, not just take money from you.
Look at how much detail. Those of you who are bingeing this, I’m not holding anything back. This is free. Stop messing around and find out what you can do to establish more and more fundability for yourself. Implement this stuff here. If you don’t want to binge all this, go do the bootcamp. Join me for a weekend and let’s talk. We have in-person events. We have simulcasts and streaming events. It’s all there for you. Go to FundingHackers.com and go to bootcamp, click the button and you’re there. We’re all straight. Don’t just do what you’re told. Find and follow a leader towards the next highest version of yourself, the next highest image you have of where you want to be in your life then becomes your own master. That’s what I’m talking about.
Let’s go to the next one. This is the seagull. A seagull is different than a rat. Rats are quick and dirty. The seagulls fight for scraps. You’ve seen it in the movies or if you’ve been on the coast anywhere where there are fishing ships, you’ve seen flock of seagulls fighting for the scraps. They don’t believe that there is enough for everybody. If you don’t believe there’s enough for everybody, then this is where you need to check into a higher vision for yourself. Money is not a zero-sum game. If you know anything about hypothecation, every time they do a loan, they’re actually creating money for the economy. “There is always enough and to spare,” to quote The Good Book. You don’t have to fight for what you get. “I fight for what I get. Don’t judge me.” This picture is perfect because he was so eager. “I’m blind now.” He is blind because he didn’t think about how to work out this funding piece of bread. There’s a picture of a seagull whose beak is poking through a piece of bread. He’s blind now. He can’t see Jack because he’s been fighting for the scraps.A great master is not the one has the largest number of followers. A great master is the one who develops the most number of masters. Click To Tweet
It doesn’t have to be this way. I want you to be able to have a much more powerful experience. One of the Merrillisms that I’ve been ascribed is that to the degree you defend against something is usually the degree it’s probably true for you. If we go into defense mode when somebody says something to us, even if it’s not in that moment, honestly, take a look at it. Because if you’re defending against it, there’s probably someplace inside of you where you’re afraid that it’s true. If I have pointed out any one of these funding behaviors, these unconscious behaviors, not one of these totems is flattering. I don’t want you to be afraid to look deep inside of yourself and find out what might be true there. Using the animals is an easier pill to swallow than saying that you’re afraid or that you are a rat, that you are quick and dirty or you’re capitalizing on any credit possible or you’re a sheep and you follow everything. These are what we want to look at deep in ourselves because FICO is measuring every single version of this.
As we think about this, the degree you defend against something is usually the degree it’s probably true. Take that to heart because the animal totem that I want you to imbibe and treat as your own funding personality is the Eagle. The Eagle is the optimizer, vision, strategy, speed, proactive, eyesight for a mile. It usually has a vast territory that as a pair claims as their own. They are beautiful and they are powerful. There are speed and strategy associated with it. If I’m going to pick an animal, that is the animal totem that I want you to adopt in your heart and in your mind as your credit animal totem or your funding totem.
It’s a beautiful and powerful picture of what you and I look like when we are professional borrowers, when we’re knocking it out of the park, when we choose the highest version of ourselves and every move we make is strategic. We implement with speed, focus and direction. Choose your totem. Choose who you want to be, what you’re about and how you can create the best version of your funding self. Are we the ostrich and avoid everything at all costs? Are we the chicken? Are we afraid and we’re scratching out a living? Are we the rat? Are we grabbing what we can, where we can regardless of the price? Are we the isolationists trying to stay out of the system and therefore never able to master the game, much less win it?
Are we the fox or the weasel where we’re trying to game the system and take advantage of it? Are we the sheep where we are blind followers and the only perspective we have is the rear end of the one in front of us? Are we the seagull where we fight for scraps? Whatever is left over, we grab. Can we leave those funding behaviors to become the eagle, the optimizer, the strategist, with implementation speed, with deliberateness, with focus and with power? I call you out, I challenge you to become a credit eagle rather than a credit seagull. Have an amazing day.