Your Credit Score Isn’t a Reflection of Your Moral Character: But the Department of Homeland Security seems to think it is

All else being equal, I'd be much more suspicious of someone with great credit and a high debt-to-income ratio than I would be of someone with poor credit.

Clearly the first person cares a lot about their credit rating. They're accustomed to having access to credit, they rely on it, they probably care about their reputation and keeing up appearances. If something went wrong and they couldn't pay their bills, it would feel like a catastrophe, and it might be pretty easy for someone to take advantage of the situation and manipulate them into doing something unethical.

The second person has already worked out how to live with bad credit. Suddenly being able to pay off all their bills would be nice, but it wouldn't feel necessary, so it would be hard to get them to compromise their ethics. Humans are much more psychologically-sensitive to potential losses than to potential gains; we'll go to much greater lengths to protect what we have than we will to obtain something we don't have.

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