How ‘Star Wars: The Mandalorian’ Can Help You Protect Your Credit

Contributed by guest writer, Jessica Larson,

TIAA is JA's official sponsor for National Financial Literacy Month

“The Mandalorian” can teach young adults who are opening credit cards for the first time plenty of ways to steward and build their credit. If you watch the show with an eye toward understanding and applying its lessons to your financial future, you’ll find a whole lot of wisdom.  

Here are a few ways “The Mandalorian” can help young adults build and take care of their credit — maybe not directly, but by example.

Make your word your bond    

Bounty hunters often have to prove themselves with easy assignments at the outset, so their clients know they’ll be able to handle more valuable assets. That’s why a Mandalorian’s word is so important: By following a code of honor that involves “delivering the goods” (literally), a Mandalorian earns his clients’ trust.  

Similarly, when a creditor lends you money, you’re entering into an agreement. You may start out with a low credit limit, but if you keep that agreement by making your payments on time, you’ll likely find yourself entrusted with more in the future. Building trust and building credit are very similar that way.

Know where you stand    

The Mandalorian gets the lay of the land before committing to a plan of action. When the Client decided to hire a bounty hunter to retrieve the Child, he didn’t reveal everything involved in the mission. Fortunately, Mando didn’t just take him at his word: He found out the truth by investigating the situation and decided to act differently once he knew.

Before entering into a credit agreement, it’s important to know every angle of what you’re getting yourself into. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What’s your budget, and can you afford to take on additional payments?
  • What are your spending priorities and habits?
  • What is your credit score, and how can you make it grow?
  • What’s your income now, and what do you expect it to be in the future? 

Then read everything carefully about your obligations, interest rates, and potential penalties, before entering into a credit agreement.

Be ready for emergencies    

Crises can hit at any time, and you never know where they might come from. No one expected a worldwide pandemic to cripple some segments of the economy for a year or more. Just as scary in a different way, natural disasters like wildfire or severe storms can strike with little or no warning. 

You can’t prepare for every specific emergency, but you can learn to stay calm when they occur, just as Baby Yoda stays calm and calls upon the Force to handle difficult situations as they arise. Mando uses a slightly different approach: He has all sorts of tools, ranging from his Beskar armor to flamethrowers and blasters, that he can call upon in a tight situation. 

Know what tools you have at your disposal when assessing your credit and deciding whether to take on new obligations, from your yearly free credit report to counsel from a certified financial planner. 

Secure your home base

The Mandalorians’ home is an inhospitable place. Mandalore is a desert planet so hostile that its inhabitants built domed cities to protect themselves from the elements. They know the dangers and costs of weather-inflicted damage and do whatever they can to prepare for it.

It pays to protect your home, too. Just like on Mandalore, there are deserts here, not to mention hurricane zones and tornado alleys, all of which could pose a danger to your home — and your credit. To start with, insurance can help you avoid the ugly surprise of having to pay for a post-disaster home repair with your credit card.

These are just some of the lessons on credit you can glean from watching “The Mandalorian.” Others include not overextending yourself (Mando knows his capabilities — and his limits), and working with your creditors, just as Mando works with his allies to improve his chances for success… even if he prefers to work alone.

You may not live on a desert planet or find yourself with armed enemies intent on taking you down, but you’ll meet plenty of obstacles in building and protecting your credit. Nevertheless, take heart: Many tools and strategies at your disposal can help you come out on top.