Sometimes life’s aggravations seem to intensify at certain points in time, like when you try to buy a vehicle or big-ticket item at a store, dealership or even by mail, and then get rejected. What a bummer… Can’t buy that car, even though it could be a good deal and you’re sure you’re a good bet when it comes to credit. The funny thing is, after a number of applications are rejected, your otherwise great credit record goes down the drain with your hopes of ever driving around a decent bazoo.
One day, not long ago, I nearly choked on that fine sesame-seed cracker en route from Montreal to home on our own fine airline, reading the daily newspaper. Tucked away neatly near the other ho-hum news was a paragraph or two about how creditors, banks and now even loan sharks who deal with your credit application, use your postal code to determine whether or not to grant you credit.
The funny thing was, the article stated, that postal codes of reserves become immediate flags to lenders, who nearly automatically reject your application without any further question or adieu. The ironic thing is that these debt financers are usually the ones to market you in the first place. So why include us in their aggressive marketing in the first place and bug us to no end until rejecting us and decreasing our chance of ever landing credit even more.
But the real issue is, that if your postal code is on reserve, you don’t stand much of a chance for securing any financing, whether or not your credit rating is actually good and you have a long history of steady loan repayments or car payments.
What gives here? Is it the ultimate discrimination or what? You cannot get credit because your postal code is the same as one of the many First Nations across Canada? Isn’t that just dandy to be able to brush off a customer at your car dealership and say, I don’t like your postal address?
I could go on and on, but the buck doesn’t stop there, it seems to extend to insurance companies on occasion, where a little white lie in your address placing you outside of the reserve helps in the application process. But why exclude us systematically? I am sure that there are more riskier applicants for credit outside reserve than there are on the Rez.
Perhaps it goes back to the days when it was illegal to lend money to Natives and it was illegal for them to use lawyers against whoever they wish, that First Native peoples land are situated in crown land and no security can be raised to back up your financial status. Perhaps we should ask the Queen to guarantee our debt requests, after all it seems that she still has some say about our lands and affairs, so she should ante up and raise the stakes to include allowable credit.
I know we can’t be seized for assets and all that other stuff in case of default. I think we already pay a lot in interest, which traditionally is the bread and butter of banks, before ATM transaction charges, fees, and other hidden charges chew away any chance of making your own interest matter enough to titillate a credit manager.