Who’s Looking at Your FICO Score?
An unfavorable credit score can impact far more than just loan approval. In fact, there are places that now pull that FICO rating before letting you do things you’d never suspect depended on it. In many of these cases, you may not even know, unless you read the fine print. Let’s look at a few such cases.
Credit and Landing a Dream Job
Solid credentials, a mountain of experience and stellar professional references should be enough to land the perfect job, right? Maybe not if your credit score is a little shaky. Employers frequently check scores to determine the financial responsibility of a potential employee, because they see it as an indication of how well this person bears responsibility in general. If yours is low, it could cost you the job.
Credit and Starting Utility Service
While coming up with a deposit on a new rental property may be the obstacle we all focus on, no sooner are we over it than an unforeseen obstacle arises — turning on utilities. Utility companies could require you to pay a hefty deposit because your FICO score is too low. Deposits are normally based on the history of utility bills on the property itself, but credit scores can also come into play and make your move far more expensive than anticipated.
Credit and Insurance Plans
One thing that almost every new insurance applicant must go through is a credit check. Even with a good driving record or no prior homeowner’s insurance claims, a low credit rating could place the account in a high-risk category. The result is a higher premium because, for insurance companies, the name of the game is sorting the risk-takers from those who don’t take chances at all.
Credit and Renting Cars, Vacation Houses, and More
The bags are packed and reservations are made, but then you get a phone call that you need a substantial additional deposit to secure the vacation rental. Many short-term rentals now request a social security number to determine if guests can financially cover damages if necessary. If your credit score doesn’t measure up, you could be facing a hefty deposit.
Along these same lines, renting a car or even a moving van now often requires a credit check, too. And you may not know it until you get to the counter for pick up — so this can put a real crimp in the plans.
Credit checks are a security measure for lenders and institutions to help protect their assets, but who knew it would become a daily measure in so many ways? Developing a good credit score is vital to our financial health, and maintaining it is even more important — because more often than we might ever consider, a bad one can really get in the way these days.