I signed up with a couple of secret shopping agencies a few months ago, but haven’t really pursued it at all. It’s funny, when I was working in retail, I was always the victim of the secret shop and came to loathe these people–now, I have become what I hate (little melodramatic). Most of the shops that came into my inbox were very unappealing–going to a motorcycle shop in Warwick (hate Warwick), going to a cell phone kiosk in Cranston (hate cell phone kiosks); plus the pay seemed really low for the time and travel they would take.
Then one of the companies that is a subsidiary of another one I signed up with started calling me. Turns out all it takes is being a bit courted to make me jump at the chance to help out. For a decent amount of money, I agreed to go to a local bank and inquire about a home loan. This is all rather hilarious to me because it seems like anyone who would be doing secret shopping, would probably not be earning enough money to afford any kind of mortgage, but I guess I don’t know for sure.
Certainly I’m not earning enough money to take on that, or any, financial responsibility, and I half expected the banker to laugh me out of the building when I told him “I freelance.” I’ve been freelancing for about two months, have lived in my current residence since July 1, and kind of shrugged when he asked where I get my money, I thought that he’d tell me to get back to him when things had picked up. My credit score is stellar, but on paper I look like a total flake.
“We’ll just use last year’s tax return.” he told me.
I can’t help but feel like it’s this kind of thinking that created our current state of economic crisis.
As the daughter of a woman who handles big money real estate loans, I may know a little more than the average bear about this kind of thing. The reason the banks occasionally do take risks on somewhat unattractive loan candidates is that if the person defaults, the bank gets a house that they can resell, plus any money that was paid back toward the principal of the loan. The bank doesn’t really lose, because it retains a way to make its money back–that’s how it used to be.
Now, as everyone knows, the market is flooded with cheap property and the system is tilted heavily in favor of the buyer. The bank could take your house away, but they probably couldn’t resell it quickly or without loss–so why do they want to take a chance on me?
I’m baffled, and a little afraid, but I will discuss my options with the mortage broker and see what else he has to tell me. Hopefully, they won’t find a way to offer me an obscene amount of money, so I can rest easily knowing that they won’t be doing the same to someone else who is inquiring legitimately.