It is time to acknowledge a major problem with my procedures with regards to manipulating new credit scores. I’ve only got two Guinea pigs, and one isn’t even grown yet. I need more Guinea pigs.
Young adults begin from financial scratch at age 18. They’ve got no debt, credit, accounts, experience, or credit scores.
I’ve been collecting data from my son JumpStart Jack’s journey. A goal of this blog is to document the process of building a credit score, and give advice based on our experience. Next month, I’ll publish a list with data and facts from Jack’s first year as an adult. Unfortunately, the existing numbers, stats, and figures won’t lead to valid scientific conclusions.
As a veteran high school science teacher, I’ve taught countless times about control groups, constants, and repeated trials. The JS jack status report will include a graph with a sample size of one. Real scientific studies become more statistically conclusive with larger sample sizes. I would never accept a lab report from a student with one trial measuring one sample. I’d make him grow 20 plants, crash the cart 20 times, or poll 20 people. A real study on the latest safest child car seats, might destroy hundreds or thousands of car seats, before publishing a conclusion.
History of Guinea pigs.
Scientists have used mammals such as mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys for scientific testing for years, in order to increase sample size. Guinea pigs have been a popular choice because they are tasty reproduce quickly, and have similar immune systems to humans. More pigs allow scientists to play with more variables. Higher numbers of pigs make the conclusions more reliable.
Jack the Guinea pig.
My son Jack is my first pig in the experiment. I’ve written things like, “we” decided to apply for this or that card, but it is a lie isn’t accurate. For example, JS Jack recently had his wisdom teeth cut out. He was sitting beside me on the couch, in a drugged haze, watching a movie. I was on my laptop, and said “You just got a new Delta AMEX.” Jack shot the thumbs up sign back at me, without even looking away from the television.
When the new card arrives, I’ll hand him the new Delta AMEX, and demand ask for his Everyday AMEX. The Everyday AMEX will go into an envelope, and remain there.
Jack likes travelling and has given me permission to go wild, and get him as big a stash of miles, points, and cash-back as possible.
Jill the Guinea pig.
Jill is my second Guinea pig, and will begin from scratch in a couple of years. I could make her the control pig, by avoiding all credit cards, but Jill has grown accustomed to a certain life style which includes travel. She also wants me to help her earn all the credit card bonuses.
Hopefully I’ll be able to refine the JumpStart system and she’ll turn out bigger, stronger, and faster earn more points and an even better credit score.
It is possible I am the stereotypical mad scientist headed towards disaster. Jack’s score could plunge forcing to him to live off the grid. Scientists must run the experiments to get results.
Anyway, I need more Guinea pigs. They are a necessary material for valid conclusions.
Examples of experimental Guinea pig groups.
- Guinea pig with no debt, and no credit cards (control group).
- Pig with lots of credit cards, and high student loan debt.
- Pig with only one student credit card and no debt.
It’s unreasonable to ask a student to dedicate their first adult years sticking to my script. Fortunately, I believe plenty of wild Guinea pigs already exist. Personal feelings and circumstances regarding debt and credit naturally produce all types of pigs. There are already 20 year old kids with no debt and no credit cards, and I just need to take some measurements.
Want to help?
If you’re a parent of a young adult, or you are a young adult yourself, I’d love to see your data. All I need are a few details and screen shots from your creditkarma account.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to help.