Now, about the real problem. Why is everybody so concerned about their credit worthness? You must be from Europe. Over the past 20 years in the USA (and I think Canada) a person's credit worthiness is everything. Both positive as well as negative information is reported and not having a decent credit score can negatively impact your quality of life. (...) What the US needs are EU style data protection laws.
You don't have to be from Europe to see the lies behind the current system of credit in America. The whole thing is designed so that people must have debt in order to beg the banks for more debt. It's absolutely crazy. If we teach our children to save for the things they need (and do so ourselves) we could end this horrible economy for good. Sadly people are too intoxicated by instant gratification (i.e. selfishness) for that to ever happen on a grand scale. What the US needs is a bat-symbol-in-the-sky sized CLUE.
Waste not, get your budget cut next year.