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The Marketplace Exit Exam

Marketplace's Nancy Farghalli

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Tess Vigeland: This week we say goodbye to a longtime staffer here at Marketplace Money. Producer Nancy Farghalli is leaving us for other pursuits, so we brought her in to talk about her four-plus years in personal finance. Hi Nancy.

Nancy Farghalli: Hi Tess.

Vigeland: So we told you that we just kind of wanted to talk to you about your time on the show, but in the spirit of Halloween, we've got something a little spookier for you -- we've got a quiz.

Farghalli: I knew this was going to be it! I did not prepare. This is gotcha journalism!

Vigeland: You ready?

Farghalli: Yeah.

Vigeland: Alright, first question. What is the Libor?

Farghalli: The Libor is the bank rate that is set to allow banks to borrow money from each other.

Vigeland: Very good. And where is it based?

Farghalli: London.

Vigeland: Excellent! Well, here with another question is a guest star on today's show, a familiar voice to you and to listeners.

Kai Ryssdal: Hey Nancy! It's Kai, Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace. Listen, what is a good credit score and why is it so important anyway?

Farghalli: The credit score is basically a score that they look at your credit history, your credit transactions, student loans, mortgages, and the three credit bureaus come up with a score that allows you to borrow money for a car, home, refinancing mortgages. So you really want to have a good credit score because that means you'll have a lower interest rate.

Vigeland: Alright, very well done.

Farghalli: Thank you.

Vigeland: Two out of two.

Farghalli: OK.

Vigeland: And finally Nancy, someone who really hopes you've learned a lot during your time on the show so you don't show up at his doorstep needing to move back in someday.

Mr. Farghalli: Hello! Nancy! I am your dad.

Vigeland: Alright, you recognize that voice.

Farghalli: Yes, that's my dad.

Vigeland: OK, well here's his quiz question for you.

Mr. Farghalli: Assume that I have $13,000 in credit debt and $20,000 in student loans and unfortunately I don't have a lot of savings, but I really want to buy a big house next year, what should I do first?

Farghalli: He picks up the phone, calls his parent, mom or dad, and asks, "Can I borrow money for a down payment?" Thanks dad!

Vigeland: Well done!

Farghalli: Thank you! And can I just say one thing? This has been as absolute pleasure for me! I've been here for almost four and a half years and when I first started I had no idea that the financial market would collapse and that the Red Sox would win the World Series twice, so it's been a wonderful five-year period! Thank you!

Vigeland: Go Sox! Nancy, we're going to miss you. Good luck!

Farghalli: I'm going to miss all of you too! Bye!

About the author

Nancy Farghalli is an editor at Marketplace.
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Ms. Farghalli said the credit bureaus come up with a score that allows you to borrow money. Let's be clear here: The credit score is a measure of your desirability as a credit customer. A person who borrows more will have a higher score than one who borrows less, even if both people's payment history is perfect. The frequent borrower is the better customer and will be targeted more aggressively.

The credit industry has turned the credit score into product by itself. We're encouraged to check our score, manage our score, and boost our score. There are actually people who borrow money or carry credit card balances for the sole purpose of boosting their credit score. They spend money so they will be deemed worthy of borrowing more. Get real, people! The credit industry is ranking us like cattle and getting us to buy into the game. Don't do it. Borrow if you must, but don't live to borrow.

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