Your credit score tells lenders how risky a borrower (or not) you are. If you have a higher credit score, you’ll generally be in a better position to qualify for a new loan or credit card than someone with a lower score. Also, the higher your credit score, the more favorable an interest rate you might snag on a personal loan or credit card.
If you have a higher credit score, you may already be aware of these benefits. But it may surprise you that having great credit could also result in these little-known perks.
Your driving history and record play a much bigger role than your credit score in the car insurance rates you’re quoted. But some insurers will consider your credit score as well when determining what premium rate you’re eligible for. So maintaining a high credit score could result in major savings on auto insurance.
Your age and health will play a more significant role in determining your life insurance premiums than your credit. But life insurance companies, like auto insurers, are in the business of assessing risk. And a higher credit score sends the message that you’re not very likely to take financial risks at the very least. So if you maintain a higher credit score, it might help you snag more affordable rates on a life insurance policy.
When you sign up for utility services, you’re basically applying for a line of credit. It’s not the same line of credit as a credit card, because you can swipe that card for a variety of purposes. But you’re effectively asking a utility provider to allow you to use its service as much as you need to and then pay for it afterward.
Because of this, it’s common for utility companies to look at customers’ credit histories. It’s also pretty common for utility companies to ask new customers or those with poor credit to put down a deposit when they sign up for service. But if you have a high credit score, you may not have to hand over a pile of money upfront.
As you can see, having a favorable credit score can work to your advantage. So if your credit score is already in great shape, a few simple steps could help it stay that way. Those steps include:
Continuing to pay all bills on timeOnly using a limited portion of your total credit limit (ideally, 30% or less)Maintaining long-standing credit accountsNot opening too many new credit cards in short orderChecking your credit report for errors a few times a year
It’s not so easy to get to a place where you have a great credit score. But if you’ve already gotten over that hurdle, then you may find that maintaining your already high score is pretty doable. And from there, there’s a world of benefits to be reaped.
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