It’s official. According to a recent survey from the U.S. News and World Report, almost 60 percent of Americans are unaware of how their credit score affects them. . To make matters worse, Michigan is lagging behind the rest of the country with an average credit rating of 677 and an average credit balance of $5,622 (The Federal Trade Commission has established that anything above 700 is generally considered to be a good credit score). With an average mortgage debt estimated to be approximately $132,535, it’s fair to say that the numbers are concerning for our fellow Michiganders here in Wolverine country.
We all want to succeed in life whether that means owning a home, purchasing a new car, or just staying on top of bills which is no small task in 2019! Maintaining a good credit score is just one of the key elements to success for millions of Americans. So, what are the advantages to a good credit score? Aren’t there more pressing concerns in life? How does your credit score affect you? And, what can you do to improve it?
Some of the answers just might surprise you.
Like it or not, we live in a world where the need to make major purchases isn’t a question of “Should I?”, but rather it’s a question of “When?”. Sudden emergencies can occur at any given time and the likelihood of approval for a loan is entirely dependent upon whether or not you have a good credit score. Loans don’t only ensure that you’re prepared for dramatic life changes as they happen, but they also ensure that you’re ready to seize opportunities before they happen.
If you thought employment was simply a question of education and experience, you may want to think again. More and more employers are looking into all aspects of a candidate’s background when choosing qualified employees This includes taking a look at your credit report. A good credit score implies trustworthiness, reliability, and good decision making skills—all of which are as critical for job placement as they are for career advancement.
Lower Interest Rates
An estimated 55 percent of Americans have some sort of credit card debt. In some cases, they are very minor. Worst cases can reach up to tens of thousands of dollars. However,most credit card debt is the result of one critical factor: high interest rates. This includes the subsequent hole of falling even deeper into debt by borrowing money just to pay off existing debt. Credit cards are not the only culprit. Higher interest rates occur in every imaginable loan that one secures without a good credit score. You can have higher interest rates in mortgages, car loans, business loans, and even emergency loans. Don’t fall into the trap of paying more interest than you deserve to. Your success depends on it.
Cash Flow Projection
More and more Americans are developing thorough and specific financial outlines to help them to plan for the future. Whether they’re looking to raise a family, start a business, or to achieve financial independence, a solid financial plan relies on an accurate estimate of your cash flow. A low credit score doesn’t just distort your understanding of your own personal financial resources, but it can also place obstacles in your way that can take years and sometimes even decades to overcome.
It probably comes as no surprise that your likelihood of being approved for a mortgage depends on your credit score. But, did you know that your credit score can affect the likelihood of renting an apartment as well? It might seem almost self-defeating, but more and more landlords are reviewing credit ratings prior to approving tenants—particularly if there’s a history of eviction, security risks, and outstanding balances. So, even if you weren’t planning on owning a home in the near future, your credit score can still affect the roof over your head!
Auto Insurance Rates
There’s only one thing more inevitable than death and taxes– your auto insurance rates. Your credit rating can affect your insurance premium even if your driving record is spotless. Insurance companies have indicated that the lower a driver’s credit score, the greater their likelihood of filing a claim. As a result, most insurers have adjusted their rates accordingly. Fair or unfair, with a good credit score you can wind up paying significantly less for insurance than if your rating was simply average.
All of the above may seem like beneficial reasons to maintain a good credit score. But there’s one thing that a good credit score can give you that is worth more than any amount of monetary savings or opportunity that you can imagine: confidence.
Confidence is more important than your ability to pay off any debt. It’s what can keep you motivated when prospects look dark. It’s a beacon of hope that the future can be much brighter than you ever imagined. And, it’s up to you to keep that beacon lit. It might seem impossible, but it’s well within your grasp.
As long as you know where to look.
If traditional banks have left you discouraged about opportunities for the future, come see the difference that a credit union can make. At Calcite Credit Union, we work for you—not against you. Visit us today at Calcite Credit Union.