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Whether you like it or not, your credit is a reflection of you. It’s basically a snapshot of how trustworthy you’ve been with money in the past. Throughout your life, credit can affect many different milestones such as getting a job or an apartment. Also, when you choose to make bigger purchases such as a car or a home, credit can make or break whether you’re going to be willing to afford it. It’s important to realize how important credit before you can work on increasing your score as much as possible or look into credit repair. To learn more about how credit impacts your wallet, read on.

1. Your Rent

More and more apartment managers, landlords, and rental agencies review their tenants’ credit scores. When they look at your credit report, they are trying to find a record of fiscal responsibility (or lack thereof.) Negative information like missed payments can influence them to believe that you may not pay your rent on time. They might be looking to see if you have any large debts as well, which may prevent you from paying your rent. Having a low credit score means that you might have to find a co-signer, put down a larger deposit, or that your housing application might just get passed on altogether. Causing you to settle for an area that you’d rather not live in or pay more than you were planning to for rent.

2. Your Utilities & Cell Phone Service

As with your rent, having a low score may force you to have to get a cosigner or pay a large deposit on your utilities. Cell phone providers might ask to take a look at your credit history before giving you service. Also, if you have a lower credit score, you might miss out on deals that individuals with better credit scores are being offered.

3. Your Career

Even though you may not think it’s fair, the truth is that many employers check the credit reports of prospective employees as a part of the screening process. Some of the reasons why include assessing trustworthiness, discipline, and figuring out the potential for theft or embezzlement. It’ll often happen if a person is going for a high-stakes position, or if someone yearns to be in an industry that deals with money quite a bit (i.e. banking.) But, in the end, it’s a possibility that many people will face when they’re trying to get a new job.

By law, employers are required to have your written consent before they look at your credit history. And also, they might not see your actual credit score. In turn, they’ll see a modified credit report that could omit some details. Still, if your credit report involves a number of negative factors, it may be the thing that stands between you and getting the job that you have always wanted.

4. Student Loans

If you’re looking to continue your education, then finding a student loan might be a frustration instead of an ease. But, this depends on a couple of different factors. When you’re dealing with Stafford, Perkins, or PLUS loans they don’t rely on your credit score. But, if you’re planning on getting a PLUS loan, it requires that you don’t have an “adverse credit history.”

Private student loans are a completely different story. They, in turn, do look at your credit score when deciding whether to give you a loan or not. When it all comes down to it, the borrowers with the worst credit are going be offered loans with 5-6% more of interest than those with an excellent credit score. Sometimes, the rates are even higher depending on the lender. This means more money is going to come out of your pocket in the long run than someone who has already established an excellent credit history.

5. Your Mortgage or Car Loan

If you’re currently in the market for buying a house, one of the first things that you’re going to do is apply for a mortgage loan. If you are dealing with a terrible credit score, then you might not even qualify for getting any type of mortgage loan at all. Many lenders use your credit score as proof of your reliability as a borrower. If you’re dealing with bad credit, that’s definitely going to be a red flag for a lender that they might not get their money back if they lend to you. Even if you don’t have an established credit, you might not get a good deal for a loan as well because lenders are basically taking a bet on you.

Even if you do get approved, the loans that are available to you will probably have high-interest rates. In the long run, you’ll probably end up spending tens of thousands of dollars more than someone who has a much better credit score than you.

Car loans work the same way. If you don’t have a decent credit score, then you might not even have car loans available to you. If you do, you’ll probably end up drowning in interest for years to come. Having bad credit can not only stand in the way of your goals, but they can also cost you thousands of dollars in the long run due to interest.

The status of your credit can affect your wallet in many different ways. It can come between you and many of your life’s goals including getting a job, getting an apartment, and qualifying for an auto loan. Also, your credit can cause utility and credit card companies to see you as “untrustworthy” and keep the best deals from you as a result. Choosing to start building your credit means, inevitably, choosing a better life for yourself. Having good credit gives you the ability to choose the things that you want whether it is your job, your place to live, or your car. Choose today to work on bettering your credit, and give yourself the gift of choice.

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