Having a credit score is like having a tattoo of a barcode on your forehead, and the tattoo artist are like a CRISIL or CIBIL. It’s perverse – we all agree to be watched, located, defined, classified and evaluated. And if we don’t? Financial banishment – we’re thrown to politically pampered credit wolves, cool legal bandits and unofficial loan sharks. This arrangement creates a caste system fueled by fear and exclusion. Financial surveillance is a corrupt and impersonal machine, not a system that genuinely determines people’s trustworthiness. Can’t make a credit card payment because of health costs this month? It’s recorded. Got laid off and couldn’t pay tuition? It’s recorded. Tried to pay an EMI with a low-funded bank account? It’s recorded. Make no mistake, most of these so-called debt dues are state-guaranteed speculation yields for its own elite cronies who in turn feed the yelling goons!
And who records all of this? The nexus of agencies, banks, institutions, ministries, bureaus, bazars and companies that are watching over us: S&P CRISIL, Equifax, TransUnion CIBIL and Experian; ChexSystems, Capitalized Citi, Crowned HSBC, SenSexed ICICI, Masters of Visa and TeleCheck (to name just the biggest).
We keep hearing about financial capitalism: the fact that most of the profits on Wall Street no longer have much to do with producing, value-addition or even selling anything, but are simply the fruits of speculation. This is made very complicated – “Somehow they have just figured out a way to make money out of thin air; no, don’t even try to understand how they do it” – and very distant from our everyday concerns. Financial establishment colludes with governments to create rules designed to put everyone in debt; then the system extracts it from you.
Subsidies, Party SOPs, FDI Equity, Inflation, GDP Gimmickry, Interest rates, Banking rules, Vaccinations, Stock indices, Greedy Politics, अनर्थशास्त्र, Meta Tech AI Hypes, Climate pollution tears, Smart Unicorn Brands, Price rise etc are just mundane in comparison – this system’s indirect beneficiaries owning the mainstream media and finance education will never touch such sensitive topics or let it reach our collective consciousness in any way. In fact and on the contrary, they will be happy to resist writings like this one, and define writers and whistle-blowers as anti-national or something as tantalizingly popular.
As for how the system works, there are problems at every level. On the ideological level, credit scores are crucial in creating and maintaining a culture of debt. How does this work? In order to qualify for housing loans, for example, you need to have a good credit score. And in order to have a good credit score, you need to have, guess what? Debt Aadhaar. You might think that being free of debt would qualify you for a good credit score, but that is not the case. You will only have a credit history if you have existing debt. In yet another way, the system forces you to enter into debt just to be able to provide for your basic needs.
Here at home it means endlessly making up new rules designed to put us all in debt, with the entire apparatus of government, police, judiciary and prisons providing enforcement and surveillance. Instead of taxing the rich to generate money to build and maintain things like schools and roads, our government actually borrows money from the banks, and the public extorted to pay the interest on such grand loans. As we’ve learned through scandal after scandal, this process is riddled with corruption, rigged from the start to steal money that should be going to social necessities. Financial capitalism literally equals mafia capitalism illegally owning many countries, even supreme court actions can hardly dare to touch them.
We gave banks the power to create money because they promised to use it to help us live healthier & more prosperous lives – not to turn us into frightened peons. They broke that promise. We are under no moral obligation to keep our promises to liars and thieves. In fact, we’re morally obligated to find ways to stop this system rather than continuing to perpetuate it.
These credit rating agencies started after end of World Wars as regionally based companies that would track the personal details of your life – when you got married, if you got a challan, or if you committed a crime. Before technology allowed for tracking of massive amounts of data, these companies could only compile information about a particular type of credit – like your PAN based banking history or your home loans – so data was not shared across industries.
Over the last few decades of technology abuse, however, they have come to play a crucial role in our ability to get access to even the basic requirements of life in our society. If you need anything more than just a small purchase – fuel, gas, a phone, medical care, education, personal transportation, consumer durable, insurance someone or some AI app has to scan your “tattoo”. A number comes up on a screen. It can see the screen and you can’t. If it say your number is good, then you can go ahead and buy what you need. If it say the number is bad, things will become a lot more difficult for you. Your “tattoo” score is also sold-back to you for a subscription fee, so you know in advance & avoid asking others to spot or shoot!
The credit score is an essential piece of economic surveillance, but it’s not the only one. There are other ways of watching us and keeping us in check for upholding some “servile discipline” within our common herds, so deep state agents can proudly keep shining their “looting tooth” made of rare metals. Everyone has credit score per diktat of malicious tech bots; many also have a current account. Just as a series of private corporations monitors your borrowing activity in the economy, a different group of private corporations monitors your business or current account. And just as the credit score companies make a profit from calculating your score, consumer reporting agencies monitoring business accounts make a killing when you overdraft or miss a payment. ChexSystems and TeleCheck are just two examples.
The fact is, most borrowers dare not reveal their names nor show their faces. Those who struggle to stay afloat or who have fallen into default are told that they are failures, inadequate and abject, and so they do not speak out. There are literally millions of people who cannot pay the enormous sums that the financial elites claim they owe. They are the Invisible Army of Defaulters who can be found in many countries ruled by capital mafia, for example our desi NPA game. Instead of a personal failure, refusing to pay under our current system is an act of profound moral courage. We see our situation as connected, and we can look for ways to step out of the shadows together. This small Debt Resistance is an attempt to assist this invisible army and all other debt resistors in this struggle.
One Possible Solution: If you play their ping-pong game, you possibly can win (eventually). Keep pressing on and hammering them with counter letters & notices demanding they correct their mistakes and they will eventually get sick of your letters and start deleting negative credit lines from your report just to shut you up. Assume that you will be writing letters for six months to a year, but you should see a substantial improvement to your credit report and score within three months. As usual, the person who yells the loudest for the longest wins. And don’t forget, repairing your credit score is not necessarily about regaining validity in the eyes of the system: it is about challenging an exclusionary and unjust surveillance machine.
There are many other bold solutions and anti-corruption revolts. More coming soon..