Name another three-digit number that has an influence over your day-to-day life. Chances are you can’t!
Where it falls on a range of 300 to 850 impacts the kinds of opportunities you have. But how, and more importantly, why?
Below you’ll find three ways your score may impact your life.
1. How You Borrow Money
Perhaps the most widely known impact is on your borrowing options.
As a representation of your past borrowing behavior, your score is a stat many financial institutions check before they grant you funds.
When it comes to borrowing a line of credit, the closer you are to 850, the better. Although earning the highest credit score possible isn’t absolutely necessary, it does make borrowing money easier.
Your score and its impact on your finances like a seesaw.
As your score climbs, the risk you pose to financial institutions drops, so they’ll reward you with more affordable rates and fees.
As your score dips, the risk increases, and you may face more barriers when borrowing cash.
That’s not to say you won’t be able to get a personal line of credit in an emergency. You may be able to qualify for a personal line of credit for people with bad credit, as long as you satisfy other criteria.
The only difference is a bad credit personal line of credit may come at higher rates than if you had an excellent score.
2. The Auto Insurance Premiums You Pay
You’ll see your score may have a similar impact on the rates you pay for car insurance. When your score is high, you may see your premiums drop.
Why? Because many insurance companies evaluate data from your credit report to make their own risk assessment. Rather than judging your creditworthiness, these companies use this information to determine the likelihood you’ll make a claim.
Past data suggests people with better scores make fewer claims than those with lower scores, so they adjust the rates accordingly.
Of course, you may be able to offset a low score by focusing on other factors that influence your premiums. Things like location, marital status, age, and driving record also play a part in setting your rates.
3. The Jobs You Can Get
If you’re on the lookout for a new job, be prepared to share your score with future employers. Thirty-one percent of employers run a background check on some new hires, while another 16 percent check the credit of every applicant.
As you might expect, those that run employment credit checks prefer high scores over low ones.
In terms of your job, a high score suggests you’re trustworthy and capable of managing cash, confidential material, or physical security.
Although you may not have to submit to employment credit checks with every application, it could affect your chances of getting hired if you do.
If you’re asked to share your score, speak with your prospective employer about it right away. Let them know how this three-digit number won’t affect your work while also sharing your plans to improve it.
With such a wide-ranging impact on your life, improving your credit history is the sensible next step in your financial journey. Use your budget to create a game plan that lets you pay your bills on time and reduce debt. These habits may help bump up your three-digit number so that you face fewer barriers in your day-to-day life.