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In honor of this Father’s Day, we at Credit.com wanted to pay homage to a few iconic TV dads and their credit catastrophes.  Why?  Of course, because we love them. Also, in taking a moment to celebrate some of the best televised money mistakes, we can learn something and maybe laugh about it along the way.  So here’s some advice from your good ol’ TV dads about what not to do with your credit.

Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

He may have been featured in a MasterCard commercial, but Homer Simpson is definitely not a model of financial responsibility. In this season 12 episode, Homer’s credit card is denied at a restaurant. Maxing out your credit card can have a significant impact on your credit score, but that’s not the worst financial offense Homer commits.

In the 20th season, the Simpsons’ home is actually foreclosed upon after Homer takes out a home equity loan saying that he thought the house had to pay back the loan, not him. D’oh! A foreclosure is one of the most damaging items to have on your credit report, so take a lesson from Homer and don’t take all of the equity out of your home.

[Related Article: Underwater On Your Home Option 5: Walk Away / Foreclosure]

George Bluth, Arrested Development

The Bluth family may be wealthy, but they have their own fair share of money problems. The series begins with George Bluth being arrested for shady bookkeeping and fraud.

In an early episode, Michael says the family’s finances have been frozen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and viewers later discover that George Bluth was involved in building houses overseas for Saddam Hussein even though Americans are not allowed to do business in Iraq.

While the account freeze would not necessarily show up on a standard credit report, it would show up on an investigative report that creditors will sometimes use.  Needless to say, George Bluth’s credit is definitely not “solid as a rock” — the company slogan thought up by Gob. Thankfully, there’s always money in the banana stand.

[Free Resource: Check your credit score and report card for free before applying for a credit card]

Free Tool: Credit Report CardJimmy Cooper, The O.C.

Jimmy Cooper, played by Tate Donovan, may come across as a nice guy compared to his cold wife Julie in the first season of this hit TV drama from the mid-2000s, but he has a dark secret — money problems. Jimmy comes under investigation by the SEC in the first season for using his position as an investment manager to embezzle some of the money from the portfolios he managed to make up for his own losses.

While he is able to avoid jail time for his crimes, he ultimately is forced to declare bankruptcy. A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 10 years after it is reported.  That means Jimmy Cooper is only now nearing the end of the repercussions from his bankruptcy, even though The O.C. has been off the air for more than five years.

[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com]

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  • Cee Smythe

    RE: Mike Brady – I don’t think they had money problems. Each of the Brady kids would have had social security checks coming in from their deceased parent and/or child support from the divorced parent. Also, in the event the spouses were deceased, there would have been proceeds from an insurance policy.

    • Michael Schreiber

      Good points. However, I’m pretty sure that if there HAD been an insurance policy, it would come up in the Very Brady Movie Sequel. IE, Carol would have said, “Roy, I can’t believe you’re alive! I hope I don’t have to give back the insurance money!”

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