Your credit score is so much more than a simple three-digit number. It is also the key to getting a great deal on a mortgage or can be the obstacle that is stopping you from getting your next job. This three-digit number is what lenders use to evaluate your credit risk, and a high score is often seen as an indication of financial responsibility. When it comes to bad credit, nearly a third of Americans have a credit score that is lower than 601, according to the experts at credit.com. Your credit score doesn’t just affect your personal finances but can have a significant influence on other aspects of your private and public life. Here are several ways that bad credit can affect your life.
Higher Rates and More Loan Restrictions
In today’s banking industry, just being able to get a loan can be considered a victory. Unfortunately, if you have less than perfect credit, your loan will often come with an unfavorable interest rate or restrictive terms. If your credit score is under 620, it’s likely that you will have a higher interest rate attached to the loan, according to Bank of America. The impact of higher rates and restrictive terms can be enormous, adding thousands to the total cost of your loan.
Trouble Renting an Apartment
If you are applying to rent an apartment, the landlord or management company is likely going to run your credit unless local laws prohibit it. This need for a pre-lease credit check is understandable. For applicants that have lower credit scores, they are statistically less likely to pay the rent on time. Landlords are especially wary of applicants that have bankruptcies, foreclosures, delinquencies, and patterns of late payments on their credit report. If you are looking for a place to live and have a credit score below 620, you may find it difficult to find a place to rent in the area that you desire.
Difficulty Getting a Job
Even though there is little correlation between an employee’s credit score and their job performance, it doesn’t stop employers from checking your credit score during the hiring process. When applying for a job, you should expect to have your credit score ran by the potential employer. If you have bad credit, don’t be shocked if you are denied the job, as your credit is likely to factor into the hiring decision, especially if you are applying for a government position or financial institution that require a security clearance.
Trouble Getting a Cell Phone
If you’ve chosen to forgo the landline phones, your cell phone is literally your only connection to the world. These days, it isn’t feasible to live without a cell phone. Unfortunately, cell phone carries pay close attention to your credit when they are looking to approve you for a new contract. This is because customers with poor credit are less likely to pay their bills on time.
It’s extremely difficult to understate the importance of your personal credit. The best thing that you can do to improve your credit and ensure that your score remains high is to monitor your credit and learn what it takes to improve it.