Your credit score is more than just a three-digit number. It provides companies with greater insight into your financial habits.
With one look at this important number, financial institutions can make a determination about your creditworthiness. For example, a credit score of 750 reveals that you are likely to uphold agreements with creditors and pay your bills on time.
A credit score of 490 reveals that you have problems keeping up with your financial commitments. Financial institutions view applications from people with low credit scores as risky.
When it comes to borrowing money from a lender, your credit score is the most important fact. Here’s why.
1. Your interest rate is determined by your credit score.
Banks charge interest on auto and home loans. The amount that you’ll pay in interest depends on your credit rating.
If you have bad credit and you purchase a new car, the average interest rate for subprime auto loans is approximately 11 percent. If you have excellent credit, the average for super prime auto loans is approximately 3 percent.
Although it may not seem like a big deal when you compare percentages, the numbers make a difference in the amount of money that you pay for the entire loan. For example, you’ll pay an additional $95 per month if you have subprime credit and you borrow $25,000.
2. Your vehicle insurance premiums are impacted by your credit score.
Hawaii, California and Massachusetts prohibit the use of credit scores to calculate your vehicle insurance premiums. However, most states don’t prohibit this practice.
The insurance industry maintains that people who have credit scores that fall below 600 are more likely to file fraudulent claims or inflate their claims. They also believe that people with low credit scores are not as likely to pay their premiums. As a result, they require people with low credit scores to pay the bulk of their premiums upfront.
3. A good credit score opens the door to greater financial opportunities.
The truth is people who have maintained a good credit standing have access to favorable financial opportunities such as 0 percent interest rates and loans at reputable banks and institutions.
Having a good credit score ensures that you’ll be eligible for top-tier leasing opportunities, luxury apartment rentals and mortgage loans. Another benefit is you’ll be eligible for business loans to finance your startup venture.
4. Many employers review credit scores to make hiring decisions.
In many instances, working for some agencies in the federal government requires you to qualify for a security clearance. As part of the clearance process, the agency will run a credit check. If you have a low credit score, you’ll automatically be disqualified from consideration.
Other jobs that often require excellent credit are bank tellers, treasurers, accountants and debt collectors. Any job that requires you to manage money may require your credit rating to be within a high range.
5. Deposits for apartments and other services are determined by your credit score.
When a company provides you with a service, they want to be sure that you will pay the monthly fees. This is especially true if you rent an apartment, sign up for cable services or enroll in a cell phone contract.
If you have a poor credit rating, it’s likely that you’ll be charged for a higher security deposit for your rental unit. It’s not uncommon for landlords to require renters with bad credit to pay a security deposit that’s equivalent to the amount of the monthly rent.
Utility companies require a security deposit if you have poor credit. Depending on the service provider, you can expect to submit a deposit up to $250 if your credit score isn’t up to par.
6. A good credit score can reduce the amount of stress in your life.
It can be stressful when you don’t qualify for loans or bill collectors are calling you. When you have excellent credit and your bills are paid on time, you don’t have to worry about debt collectors calling your phone from ‘unavailable’ numbers.
Bad credit can take a toll on your life and your mental health. You can eliminate the stress of past-due bills by paying your bills on time and raising your credit score.
Unless you have a large amount of cash in your bank account, your credit score is an important part of your life. For that reason, it’s essential that you keep your credit rating in good standing.