Just like your LinkedIn profile, people are looking at your credit. Some of them want a quick way to judge whether or not you are responsible. Others want to know if you’ll pay them back if they lend you money.
LENDERS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
If you have poor credit, you could get interest rates nearly 60% higher than the national average because lenders see you as a bigger risk. Check out this calculator to see what kind of interest rates you might qualify for based on your credit score.
What does a low credit score have to do with your driving abilities? Insurance industry research has shown that those who manage money responsibly are more responsible in other parts of their lives.
If you need auto, renters or homeowners insurance, insurers will look at your credit score. And a low score could mean you'll pay up to $22,815 higher premiums over your lifetime than someone with a stellar score.
Part of getting your own place is paying for utilities like gas and electricity — and utility companies want to make sure you’re good for it.
“Some [utility companies] won't extend credit without a large deposit if you have a negative history,” says Gerri Detweiler, a credit expert with Credit.com.
When you get a cellphone, the provider might check your credit report to see whether you've been paying your bills on time. If you have a spotty credit history, they may require you to put down a cash deposit as high as $500 before giving you an account.
To many landlords, a lower credit score means you're more likely to be late on rent or miss it altogether. That’s why New Jersey landlord Jerry Lynch checks his potential renters’ credit scores.
"If they haven’t paid people they owed money to in the past, there’s a very reasonable chance they won’t pay me," says Lynch.
Like many landlords, when Lynch encounters possible renters with bad scores, such as college students or young adults who have never used credit, he requires them to get a co-signer on the lease.