My mother never talked to me about the birds and the bees. When I was sixteen, she instead sat me down for a serious conversation about building solid credit. My mom is a practical woman. At the time of our conversation, she was already widowed and trying to support three children on her meager secretary’s salary. Good credit was especially important to her because we didn’t have much money.
Good credit may seem like a lofty goal or something that is out of reach. But, in reality, good credit is the basis of a simple, drama-free life. Good credit creates a balance that lets you achieve everyday goals and become the relaxed person you want to be.
It was important to my mom that I start building credit as early and as quickly as possible because she believed that it was essential for my future. Why should you care about having good credit? Here are some reasons.
- Good credit means you won’t have to pay as much for a loan. You know you shouldn’t overpay your taxes because it’s like giving Uncle Sam free access to your money. The same goes for why you don’t want to pay a bank or lender more than they need. If you have bad credit, the bank or lender is justified in charging you more to ensure you don’t default. But coming into those loans with good credit means you will qualify for larger loan amount with more reasonable interest rates. You will pay less over time, which means you’ll have more money for your family and your interests.
- Good credit means you can live where you want and how you want. Lenders, such as those who offer mortgages, as well as landlords look at credit history. This is how they judge whether you are eligible to use their services or live in their properties. If you want to have the lifestyle you deserve, you need to have good credit across the board. If you aspire to provide for your family in a way that meets your personal standards, then you need to think about how you can protect and maintain your credit over the long term.
- Good credit saves you money. This is obvious, but many don’t realize how much money good credit can save you. People with good credit pay less for loans on mortgages and vehicles, but also have lower interest rates on every other type of loan, including credit cards and student loans. Good credit will even save you money on auto insurance!
- Good credit means you can take care of any emergency. To truly feel like you’ve got a handle on your life, you need to think about how you would respond if the roof sprung a leak or if you got into a significant car accident. If these kinds of emergencies would completely derail your progress as a person or your family’s comfort, then you need better credit. Having good credit means you could apply for a loan or tap into existing financial options, such as a line of credit, when unexpected events occur. There is no greater feeling than knowing you can rely on yourself or your own finances if the worst happens. Good credit is like the ultimate parachute, allowing you to land softly in any circumstance.
- Good credit can improve job prospects. More and more often, employers are checking your credit history. It is often part of the hiring process along with background checks and drug testing. Right or wrong, bad credit can disqualify you from certain jobs.
The bottom line is good credit gives you options. When you have good credit, everyone wants to do business with you because you’ve proven that you are responsible and intend to pay it back.
By Charissa Potts,
Attorney at Freedom Law, PC