When it comes to your credit scores, the higher they climb, the better. But you probably already knew that. Of course, you may be able to get by with bad credit. But bad credit makes life a lot more difficult, and certainly a lot more expensive than it needs to be.
There are a number of perks to having good credit – here are five of the biggest.
Perk No. 1: Lower Interest Rates and Better Terms
Let’s start with the most obvious perk first. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage, an auto loan, a student loan, a personal loan, or a credit card account, your good credit can save you a ton of money. When you have really great credit, you’re likely to qualify for the best terms and interest rates lenders have to offer.
Plus, if you already know that your credit is in stellar condition it gives you the power to rate shop ahead of time, making sure you only apply for the best deal available whenever you need new financing. Securing lower rates and better terms can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars during your lifetime.
Perk No. 2: Lower Insurance Premiums
Did you realize that insurance companies can legally check your credit to determine whether or not they wish to do business with applicants and, if so, under what terms? Insurance credit scores help insurance companies predict the risk of doing business with you. By checking your credit, insurance providers can better estimate the likelihood that you’ll file a claim, ultimately costing the company money it would prefer not to spend.
It may seem surprising, but your credit can be even more influential over your auto insurance premiums than your driving record. The good news is that when you have great credit, you’ll probably secure a lower insurance premium. Saving money on home and auto insurance is just another example of how your good credit can help you financially.
Perk No. 3: Better Chances of Landing a Job
Depending on the state where you live, an employer might check your credit report when you apply for a job. In fact, a few years ago the Society for Human Resource Management released a study that found nearly half of employers used credit reports in their hiring decisions. (Note: Employers do not have access to your credit scores, only your credit reports.)
Your credit report is certainly not the only factor that will determine whether you land your dream job. However, it can be an important point of consideration. If an employer is deciding between hiring you or another equally qualified applicant, but only you have good credit, guess who’s probably going to have an edge.
Perk No. 4: No Deposits
When you apply for new mobile phone service, the condition of your credit can dictate whether the service provider will require you to pay an upfront deposit. Your credit can even determine whether you qualify for service at all or if you’ll be forced into a prepaid cellular plan.
Likewise, new utility accounts (e.g., gas, electric, water) and cable TV or satellite services often asses your credit to determine whether a deposit is needed as well. Thankfully, if your credit is in great shape, you probably won’t be required to pony up hundreds of dollars in security deposits whenever you apply for such services.
Perk No. 5: It’s Easier to Rent an Apartment
Good credit can make it much easier and much more affordable to purchase a home – but your credit still matters if you opt to rent instead of buy. Landlords and property managers will generally look at your credit report and score to assess whether you are likely to be a responsible tenant. When your credit is in great shape, you’ll be more likely to sail through a rental application with ease.
If you’re missing out on some of these perks because of your mediocre credit, here’s a 12-month plan to raise your credit score.
- You Can Improve This Part of Your Credit Score Almost Immediately
- This One Factor Impacts Your Credit Score More Than Anything Else
- Four Habits of People With Great Credit
John Ulzheimer is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, and identity theft. He has written four books on the topic and has been interviewed and quoted thousands of times over the past 10 years. With time spent at Equifax and FICO, Ulzheimer is the only credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. He has been an expert witness in over 230 credit related lawsuits and has been qualified to testify in both federal and state courts on the topic of consumer credit.