Everyone will tell you that they need to have good credit. But then you ask why and the blank stares come. "Well, ummm, I guess it means I can get a mortgage or a car loan," they stammer.
True. Good credit scores can help you qualify for money when you need it. That's a great reason and probably the best known of them all. But there are other reasons that you should seriously work on your good credit and some of these might surprise you:
1. Good credit can help you get a job or keep one: It's a competitive job market out there and employers want employees who are going to be committed and trustworthy (and, in the case of highly sensitive roles, not susceptible to blackmail). Credit reports are one indicator of these qualities and more and more employers are pulling credit reports for job applicants and existing employees.
2. Good credit can save you a ton of money: The interest that you pay on your loan is based on your credit score. The higher the score, the lower the interest. Although there doesn't seem to be a big difference between the interest rate 6.416 percent and 7.566 percent, it turns out to be a difference of over $55,000 on a $200,000 30-year fixed mortgage. That's a huge difference and an increase of just 50 points in your credit score could bump your mortgage from the higher interest rate to the lower interest rate.
3. Good credit can help you find love: This one is the biggest shock to most people when they hear it. There's an increasing trend in relationships for new couples to talk about credit scores. Good credit (an indicator of stability, commitment, and financial security) are becoming part of the decision-making process around whether or not to move the relationship to the next level.
4. Good credit can help you strengthen your relationship: It's a well-documented fact that financial issues are the biggest source of conflict among couples. Although higher credit scores won't eliminate all financial conflict, they do dramatically reduce the cause of many arguments -- such "Where is our money?" and "Where will we find more money if we need it?"
If you've noticed on my blog that I am so intensely passionate about credit scores, it's because of this list. Credit scores are more than just a means by which we get a mortgage. Credit scores are indicators of our financial well-being and they broadly impact many areas of our lives -- from work to relationships to our future.
Learning about your credit score, and learning to optimize it, is one of the best ongoing investments you can make.