Your credit score, while seemingly just a simple three-digit number, matters more than you may think. That number can make life easier or difficult. Listed below are a few reasons to improve your credit score.
A Place to Live
You’re finally graduating college and working on preparing for your LSAT exam. Maybe you’re even considering investing in an LSAT tutor. The next definite item on your agenda, however, is finding a place to live. If your credit score is 700 or better, your choices are many. However, if your credit score is below 650, the chances of finding a decent place are drastically reduced. Unfortunately, the first thing a realtor does is check your credit score. So, even if you can afford the rent, you may not get approval.
Your Dream Job
You’ve studied hard in school and achieved excellent grades and your resume is something that stands out with otherwise hard to get into companies. You’re sure you can land that dream job; after all, you’re highly qualified. Then the company pulls up a credit report on you and guess what, your score is below what they’ll accept. So, now everything you’ve worked hard to achieve falls apart.
Finding a new place also means setting up your monthly utility bills. And, guess what? Again, your credit score can benefit you or cost you dearly. Utility companies view your credit score as your worth and use it to determine whether or not you are a risk for repaying your debt. So now, on top of settling on a place, you can get into, you also have to pay a hefty deposit on your electric, gas, and water, just to have the services turned on.
Your credit score is something that the insurance companies use as well. In some cases, a low credit score will mean a higher premium. However, many of the top-rated companies actually turn away business if the credit score is below their accepted number. Now you’re left with a possible shady company for your insurance and, if you should become involved in an accident it may end up costing you a lot more money out of pocket.
Access to Credit
When you first venture out on your own, there are many items you need such as furniture for your apartment, clothing for your new job and, possibly, a vehicle to commute back and forth. A low credit score will prohibit you from having access to the credit you may need to accomplish these goals. And, at the very least, you will pay a much higher interest rate. There are credit card companies who extend credit to most people with bad credit, provided they have a steady job and a checking account. However, the offered credit line is almost always very small and there is usually a deposit required or an annual fee to have the card.
Improving Your Credit Score
Improving your credit score now is essential to achieving a sound financial future. If you recently checked your score and it’s lower than 650, there are ways to get the numbers up. Unfortunately, if you have a few bad marks on your report, they will remain there for up to seven years. However, as time passes, they will affect your overall score a lot less. In the meantime, you need to pay down your current debt on time and reduce the amount you owe to your creditors. By doing these two things, you’ll start to see your number grow upward (though it might seem like they are growing very slowly).
You live in the age of the instantaneous. And, unfortunately, your credit score will affect your life. If your credit score is good, you’ll have many opportunities ahead of you for credit, housing, and employment. However, if it’s poor, those opportunities are less likely to transpire.