Abraham Lincoln had a credit score of 387

By Martin Sher, AmSher Co-CEO

Abe LincolnMost people in the United States are honest and intend to pay their bills.  It has been that way for about 237 years – that is why our credit system has thrived and our standard of living has soared.

But even the most honest, well-intentioned people run into situations in their lives when they cannot always meet their financial obligations. Even Abraham Lincoln, also known as “Honest Abe,” encountered this situation.

When Honest Abe was a child, his family was evicted from their home for non-payment of rent.

Lincoln also founded two businesses that were financial failures and ended in bankruptcy. He may have been one of the greatest presidents of the United States and one of the most significant leaders of the free world in history, but he probably would have had a lower credit score than Bonnie or Clyde. 

Roughly 80 percent of the people in the U.S. are honest and intend to pay their bills.  Another 18 percent of the U.S. population is well-intentioned, but runs into some sort of life problem that makes it difficult to pay bills.  Only 2 percent of the population is what I call “credit criminals,” meaning they have no intention to pay at all.

The absolute best way to collect from the 98% of well-intentioned people is to treat them as if they were “Honest Abe.” Treat them with dignity and respect and help them figure out how they can find the money to pay you.  Another effective approach is to give a person a reputation to live up to. “Mrs. Jones, I know you are an honest person and intend to pay this bill.  I would like to help you.”

One of Honest Abraham Lincoln’s most famous quotes was, “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”  This quote is going to be a part of our AmSher compassionate collection training.

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