* Employers. I was shocked when I applied for a job, and was told that part of the application process would include a review of my credit history. This is mandatory for some high-security jobs (including many jobs with the government), but in some cases, even major corporations will require a credit check. Ironically, some people need to get a higher-paying job to pay down their debt – so they can avoid a problem with their credit score. And yet in some cases it’s their credit score which will stop them from getting the job in the first place!
* Renting an apartment. In many cases there will be several applicants who want the same apartment, and the building manager will screen all of the applicants by first checking their credit history. Obviously they’re hoping to collect thousands of dollars in rent from you over the months to come, and they’re hoping to avoid the hassles of an unreliable tenant. But think about the dramatic impact this will have on your own life. This means that ultimately, your credit score indirectly determines where it is that you’ll live!
* Getting a car loan. Sooner or later, everyone considers buying a car. But whether it’s a new car or a used car, they’re much easier to pay if you finance the purchase over several years. Car dealers know this, so they’ve established their own financing departments. But it’s your credit score that helps determine the interest rate that you’ll get. This is one of the most important situations where a good credit score can save you lots of money, while a bad credit score can cost you money. The car deal will probably finance your purchase either way, but if your credit score is bad, you’ll get the financing at a much less favorable interest rate, so you’ll end up paying much more for your car.
The same is true for a furniture loan, and even more so if you’re ever considering financing the purchase of a house. But wherever you are in life, you’ve probably got hopes for bigger things as you grow older. That’s the best reason to try to maintain a good credit score. Otherwise the mistakes that you’ve made in your past could end up casting a shadow over your hopes for the future!