Michelle Singletary: Credit scores are supposed to be race neutral. It’s impossible. |

“Never be late with the white man’s money,” Big Mama preached. It was her legacy for me, the constant worry about ruining your credit history because, for her, late payment meant being further marginalized.

Another misconception about black people is that we are financially irresponsible, as evidenced by disproportionately lower credit scores. But if you trace the root cause of bad credit history, you will discover a pattern of discriminatory practices.

In America, we like to think that everyone has an equal chance to succeed, that meritocracy – skill and effort – eliminates prejudice. You’ve heard the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrap tropes that all boil down to this: If you work hard enough and save money, you too can be financially secure – even rich.

But the legacy of slavery lives on and blacks must make extraordinary efforts to overcome the discrimination that is often hidden in policies or, in the case of credit scoring, products that claim to be racial neutral.

Please don’t shake your head thinking, “Stop making excuses for black people ‘s failure to stand up.”

To that, I would say that if you deliberately – or even unintentionally – trip someone and they fall and hurt themselves, you can’t turn around and say, “It’s your fault that you fell. should have watched where you were walking. “


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About Perry Perrie

Perry Perrie

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