The following is a guest post by Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
Gaining a reputation and establishing credit are really two sides of the same proverbial coin, and it’s hard to find anyone with a more solid reputation than Din Djarin, the title character in the hit Star Wars series “The Mandalorian.”
So it only makes sense that, when it comes to building and maintaining credit, there’s plenty to learn from old Mando and his cohorts. After all, principles like honor and dependability are the same whether you’re living life on modern planet Earth or fighting the good fight long ago in a galaxy far far away.
With that in mind, here’s some wisdom you can gain from the Disney+ series and apply in pursuing your own financial goals.
Honor your agreements
Mandalorians follow a code of honor that sends a simple message: They’re as good as their word. If they agree to a contract, they can be counted on to complete their mission. Credit is based on the same principle.
Lenders extend you credit on the understanding that you’ll live up to your agreement and make payments on time until the loan is paid off. As long as you live up to your end of the deal, you’ll reap the rewards of better credit ratings and more opportunities.
Don’t make it personal
No one knows who’s behind a Mandalorian’s helmet, which reinforces the fact that they’re all business. Interactions with clients aren’t personal; they’re about getting the job done and (of course) receiving payment.
As in any business, they want to get the best deal possible — and so do their clients. You should have the same attitude. Don’t be taken in by friendly overtures and personal appeals. Keep your interactions focused on business, evaluate any deal, and make sure your eye is on the prize.
Have the right equipment
Din Djarin has an arsenal of weapons, ranging from blaster pistols to whipcords and whistling birds, that he can use in a pinch. You might find yourself needing specialized equipment during a crisis, too. You probably won’t need weapons, but you might have to look for things like jumper cables for a dead battery or a first-aid kit for a snakebite or broken finger.
Even if you’re at home, you’ll want to stay prepared with a tool kit to make repairs, plus (especially if you live in a region with foul weather), a backup generator in case the power goes out for an extended period. You don’t want to lose all that meat in your freezer or miss the Super Bowl because that winter storm left you without electricity for several days. Be prepared.
Don’t get shortchanged
The Mandalorian refused to accept Imperial credits as payment for a bounty, insisting that he be paid instead with the more stable Calamari Flan currency. His client, Greef Karga, agreed, but on the condition that he pay half as much. This was acceptable to Mando because he valued security over shaky promises.
Cultivate those same values in your financial dealings. Risky endeavors that seem too good to be true probably are. If someone offers you “easy credit,” chances are, you’ll pay a premium in interest rates. Read the fine print and make the best deal for yourself. If someone says, “No questions asked,” you’re the one who should be asking them.
Know where you stand
A Mandalorian would never imagine walking into a situation blind. There’s always the risk of being ambushed if you do.
By the same token, you wouldn’t go into a store without knowing how much money you have in your wallet, so you shouldn’t think about buying something on credit without knowing 1) your credit rating and 2) how close you are to your limit.
Once you know where you stand, you’ll know what you can afford. (Be sure you have a budget in place, too, and don’t use your credit as an excuse not to follow it.) If you’ve got your eye on something that’s out of reach, don’t overextend yourself. Instead, focus on building your credit so you can achieve your goals in the future.
Work with your lenders
Are you having trouble making payments? Reach out to your creditors and see how flexible they’re willing to be. You might be surprised. They may be willing to defer a payment or reduce your monthly amount.
Din Djarin and Cara Dune were willing to lend a hand to villagers on Sorgan who found themselves assailed by Imperial raiders. Your lenders may be willing to help you, too. You’ll never know unless you ask.
If things look bad, don’t make rash decisions in a panic. Assess your situation, weigh your options, and choose the best course possible. Just like Baby Yoda (aka Grogu) stayed calm and used the Force to rescue the Mandalorian from an attack by an enraged Mudhorn.
You may not have that kind of supernatural power, but you probably have tools at your disposal that you may not even recognize — especially if you act out of desperation. Stay composed and you’ll be better able to meet the challenge head-on.
It’s easy to feel stress and anxiety about your finances, especially in the current climate. Whether you’re worried about paying off debt or looking to make a big purchase, it’s essential to know where you stand with your credit and what your options are moving forward. Take a cue from Din Djarin, Grogu, and their allies as you do.
May the Force be with you.