These days, more than ever, your credit score is considered your life’s report card. Credit scores are constantly being monitored as an indicator of your overall dependability and financial prudence. In fact, it’s become an outright measure of your character.
Thinking of refinancing your house, buying a car or getting a new credit card? You’ll get favorable terms only if you meet certain qualifications; in other words, only if your credit score is high enough. Cleaner credit reports and better scores are required these days for just about any large purchase you plan to make.
You may be sitting there thinking you could care less about your credit because right now you have everything you need.
Even if you aren’t in the market to purchase anything, it’s worth 15 minutes of your time to check your credit report. And don’t forget your spouse’s too.
If that’s not reason enough, take a look at these 5 companies, who are constantly keeping an eye on your credit.
- Your Employer. Credit-score use by employers is growing at shocking rates; up to 70% in many industries. One driving factor is the declining use of references, which have become more vulnerable to libel suits and thus watered down to the point of worthlessness. Thousands of people get turned down for jobs everyday because they have bad credit. No longer is it enough to have great work experience and qualifications. Many of today’s jobs want to take a look at your credit worthiness before they consider you for a job.
- Insurance companies. It’s become widely known over the past few years that insurance companies look at your credit score. Today’s larger insurers are setting up special managed risk subsidiaries to take on preferred clients. With too low a score you may not qualify and pay hundreds more. Got bad credit? Expect to have to pay more the next time you’re shopping around for an auto, health, and life policy.
- Landlords. Need to rent a place to live? Credit checks are usually done to assess a potential tenant’s ability to pay but also for overall dependability and character. With bad credit, you could end up forced into living in the bad part of town, while all the people with good credit get approved for the most desired properties. If the rental market is strong in your city like it is in most states, applicant’s with less than good credit are usually rejected in favor of those tenant’s with good credit scores.
- Utility Companies. Having bad credit will force you to pay higher deposits when it comes to getting the most basic utility service for your home. Some utility companies will actually deny you service if they feel your credit is too much of a risk for them. Who cares if it’s the middle of winter and you need electricity turned on so you can stay warm? Your credit better be ok.
- Your Fiancé/ Spouse. Ok, so your significant other isn’t considered a company who’s keeping an eye on your credit, but it’s still important. The #1 reasons most marriages end in divorce these days is because of money and bad credit. Thousands and thousands of divorces every year are attributed to poor credit and poor money management. In fact, if you’re a single person with great credit, would you even consider tying the knot with someone with a low credit score? In today’s climate, even dating experts agree that most people now factor in a potential partner’s credit score when deciding if they want to enter into holy matrimony, til death do you part.
What to Do
The actions are pretty clear — initially, anyway. First, make a habit of examining your credit report occasionally. By law you’re entitled to one free check a year from each of the three national bureaus. But that’s just the credit report, not the score; you’ll have to pay a few bucks to get the score, but it’s money well spent. That’s pennies compared to the potential loss of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in higher fees you’ll be forced to pay if you’re credit is not in the best position possible.
Current law and practice makes fixing any fixable blemish your problem. Companies could care less! Try applying for a loan, buying a car or even getting a job with bad credit that isn’t even yours. You might not even know how the negative items got on your report. No one cares. You’ll still be denied. Agencies are required by law to investigate, but they don’t have to change the entry. You’ll have to be precise and persistent, but it can work.
We’re always here to help you with any of your credit repair needs. Sign up for a free credit analysis or talk to one of our credit repair advisors. We’re on your side.
Bad credit won’t go away by itself, unless you plan to wait 7 to 10 years. Make today the day you decide to do something about your financial future.