The three-digit credit score determines our capacity to pay for a loan, but it sadly evolved as the standard for financial self-worth over time. Merrill Chandler aims to get rid of this unhealthy perspective and invites everyone to embrace the paradigm of fundability. He explains why these numbers must not feed our ego or push us to look down on other people’s financial capacity. Merrill discusses the benefits of adopting the fundability concept, which concentrates on having a borrower behavior and profile corresponding to the lender’s guidelines.
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Why Fundability Is 10x Better Than Creditworthiness
I don’t know why it took me so long to do the math, connect the dots. In this episode, we talk about the old paradigm of creditworthiness versus the new revolutionary paradigm of fundability, how they are nothing alike. When we do use the old paradigm, filter lending opportunities and approvals through creditworthiness, it creates worse opportunities for us. It can harm our approvals.
I cannot wait to talk to you about this particular subject. What’s funny is we have 130 plus episodes. Until this moment, it has never dawned on me to cover this subject. It very well might be after my origin story, it should be the next episode because it frames everything. It’s insanely vital that we understand the difference between fundability and creditworthiness. First, flush if we are thinking from our current framework, we are like, “Creditworthiness and fundability are the same things. We get approvals.” Do we? Are they the same thing? That’s what this episode is about. I’m going to blow this subject matter out of the water. First of all, let’s take a look at creditworthiness.
It has the word credit but it also has the word worthy in it. I’m not okay with that because we literally use a three-digit number that, in our minds, determines our financial self-worth. If we have a high score, we are all proud. If we have a low score, we are embarrassed or ashamed, we don’t talk about our credit. That is not okay. Look at how we define it or determine it. I have good credit. I have bad credit. Those are judgment terms. Those are not Math algorithms or descriptions of a process to take down loans and lines of credit. Those are judgment words. To complicate this a little bit further or to make it even worse is that FICO lenders, the government all refer to you as consumers.“
I consume. I’m a consumer. You produce goods. I consume goods.” Notice, “I am a consumer.” That’s an I am statement. I am a good borrower. I’m a bad borrower. All of those are judgments. Our words reveal us when we speak this way, “A good score means I’m a good consumer. A bad score means I’m a bad consumer.” Our language completely reveals what we are talking about. We are describing ourselves as human beings and we are judging ourselves by this three-digit number. To add insult to injury, we even judge ourselves by faults three-digit numbers. You guys know who I’m talking about. Credit Karma and every other credit monitoring outfit out there that does not have the FICO logo, that’s a three-digit score that isn’t even a real evaluation of credit.No lender on Earth believes that the money represented by your credit card is yours to do with as you please. Click To Tweet
No lenders use that score to determine, whether to approve or deny your application. Not only are we not content to judge ourselves by an accurate score, but we are also willing to base our financial health and wellbeing on a fault score, a fake-o score. Let’s try and experiment. I want you to do this with me. Pull out a credit card. When do you look at that card, whose name is on that card? In my bootcamps, 95% of all attendees will shout out, “My name is there. Mine.” You are not wrong if you did. Is that what you said? Did you say, “My name is there?” The problem is that there is another name on that card. It is the lender’s name but since our credit consciousness is about being creditworthy, allows our ego identity to take the win and call it an achievement.
I’ve got a $20,000 credit card. I’ve got a $100,000 business line of credit. We frame it all in the idea of worthiness, “I am worthy because I’ve got approved.” Are you a worthy human being because you’ve got approved? Are you even a financially worthy human being because you’ve got approved? You are not. Since some part of us believes that we earned it by paying our bills on time, you have been with me long enough to know that’s ludicrous. Paying our bills on time barely keeps us in the game. Before we knew the FICO 40 and the borrower behaviors, we believed we earned it and because we earned it, we get a little bit arrogant. We say that money is ours to do with as we please. Think about that. There is not a lender on Earth who believes that the money represented by your credit card is yours to do with as you please. They even have zillions of pages of fine print describing what you can and can’t do, what types of transactions get lower interest rates and higher interest rates for other types of transactions.
Our consumer, creditworthiness consciousness is so big that this immediately leads us into a fundability trap. We start doing behaviors that are un-fundable because we think the money is ours to do with as we please. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is fundability? Let’s contrast these two. Fundability is simply having a borrower behavior and profile that fit lender’s guidelines. It simply means the lender looks at our past behaviors, not who we are but our past behaviors and says, “Those behaviors are predictable. I can count on those behaviors. I’m going to raise that credit limit or give them a new credit line.”
It means that we hit the funding bullseye. It’s not because of who we are but because of what we have done. It’s math, not worthiness. It’s not about your identity. It’s about what you do, not who you are. Many of us, the whole creditworthiness consciousness gets caught up in being creditworthy. If we are using this creditworthiness framework and we are denied, how many of you have taken a hit to your little heart because you’ve got denied? You are like, “I’m not worthy.” How many of you put a little knock on your credit to a belt when you get approved? How many of you take the win and say, “I am awesome?” Not my behaviors are awesome or my profile is awesome but we get in our own way and we say that, “I’m awesome.”
The problem is creditworthiness frames all of this as good and bad, right and wrong and makes it about us. Interestingly guys, fundability, if we get approved with a fundability framework, we literally are like, “I am doing the right things.” All I teach you is about borrower behaviors and a borrower profile. I don’t talk about how good or how bad you are as a human being. There is no credit shaming here. You are bad because you did these things. If you get approval, it’s because you have dialed in your fundability metrics. If you get denied, what are we talking about in the bootcamp? That means we’ve got to move the dials a little bit to fine-tune our profile and our borrower behaviors so that we hit the funding bullseye.
Remember, this is all automatic underwriting. This isn’t manual underwriting. We want to get away from manual underwriting, full dock loans. That’s all BS. We want automatic underwriting, software to evaluate and to establish predictable behaviors that software looks and says, “Look at those predictable behaviors.” They go, “Let’s give this borrower some more money.” Creditworthiness comes from doesn’t do that. Think of creditworthiness as a takers game. We all hate individuals in our lives who never call us unless they want something. That is creditworthiness. “I earned it. I earned this credit line. I’m going to do with it what I please.” You have the arrogance of that mentality, then you are not careful to treat that money with deference and respect.
You are not going to use predictable borrower behaviors with it. As a result, you are not going to succeed as often or as much. The fundability perspective creates a win-win. It’s like an agreement with a lender. A lender says, “Here are my borrower behaviors. Meet them? I will give you money.” You are like, “That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing those.” The lender is not sharing them with you, I am. You are like, “I can do this. Here are the borrower behaviors. I’m going to act according to your guidelines. When I do, you give me money.” I treat that money with deference and respect. When I treat them with deference and respect, the lender gives me more money. It’s not rocket science but I was ignorant to all of this until I wasn’t anymore.Creditworthiness frames all good and bad as well as right and wrong in a person's life. Click To Tweet
You have been ignorant, in the dark and kept out of the inner circles where this information has been shared and can change your life. Now that you are part of the Get Fundable Tribe and part of what we are creating, then you get to stop trying to be worthy. We won’t get into that but I’m not going to let you convert your worthiness or unworthiness, self-sabotage or all your beliefs about yourself. I’m not going to let you bring that to the world of your financing capacity. I want you to act from the perspective that you are fundable and you operate from borrower behaviors and a profile that’s predictable and trustworthy and lenders are going to lend to you. If you like this, share it with your friends who need to know it is time to stop being worthy and start being fundable. I will see you on the inside.