Credit Score How Credit Works

5 Ways Your Credit Score Affects Your Life

Kristie McCauley
Written by Kristie McCauley

When you hear credit score, you likely think of some company pulling your credit because you’re taking out a loan, establishing a line of credit, or applying for a credit card. Well, those days are over. It’s not just about borrowing money that triggers companies to take a look at your credit history, and even you credit score.

Now, companies that are not even financial institutions, creditors, or lenders are pulling your credit and checking out your credit score.

Check out at least five of the ways your credit score can affect areas of your life that aren’t really about borrowing money.

1. Finding Your Soulmate
Yes, you read that right. Not only is your potential life partner checking out how you look in those jeans, he or she is also checking out your credit score and credit history. (Not literally, of course. Although some might ask you to pony up a copy of your credit report.)

Yes, your potential soulmate wants to know about your financial responsibility. Before your walk down the aisle, your partner wants to know about your finances because when you marry someone, you not only marry their bad habits at home and their insane (or sane) family, but you’re also marrying their finances with your finances.

According to U.S. World & News Report, nine out of 10 survey respondents say that their partner’s financial responsibility is important to them because they worry it can affect their ability to buy a home, obtain decent interest rates on loans, and responsibly manage money in their joint accounts.

Three in 10 women and two in 10 men said a poor credit score is a relationship deal breaker. It gives a whole new meaning to sprucing up your dating profile online.

2. Cost of Living
Your credit score can now directly relate to how much you pay for, well, almost anything from cell phones and landlines to insurance and utilities. Service providers of all kinds are now checking applicants’ credit scores to gauge the level of risk you represent.

About the author

Kristie McCauley

Kristie McCauley

Kristie Lorette McCauley is an award-winning expert on personal finance, mortgages, and credit. She has published articles on major finance and credit blogs, such as Yahoo! Finance, Quizzle, Money Crashers, and BankRate. She is also the author of books, such as How to Use the Equity in Your Home or Business Today to Invest for Tomorrow and How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Financial Planning Business.

12 Comments

  • I keep being turned down for credit, and the reason given is (1) too many inquiries: I have not authorized ANY inquiries, and do not recognize the companies listed in my reports from equifax et al. and (2) too high ratio of credit usage: because I hold a courtesy card on my daughters department store account and despite the fact that she is never late with payments. It was opened over a year when she became ill and requested the courtesy card… and I do not charge against it. How unfair is this!

  • I believe having a great credit score is necessary to buying a home with a great interest rate, but I don’t believe in using credit cards for daily living expenses. I prefer cash, it helps me stay on track with my budget. I have 3 credit cards with total credit lines of 44,000. I have one small balance left on my discover card, but once it’s paid off I will only use credit cards once a year to keep them open. I have a MMA for my emergency savings with a balance of $2500, and I continue to contribute monthly until I reach my goal of $14,000, which I can use in emergencies. I don’t think the rewards are that great to be using credit cards for daily expenses. If I want to go on vacation or fly I save my money and pay cash!!! These practices have been doing me good as all my scores are above 720 and continue to rise as I pay down revolving credit card debt. My mission is to be debt free and NEVER be in debt again!

  • Hello, I have been rebuilding my credit for almost 3 years and it is paying off in a positive way. My scores are in the 600’s and my payment history with bills have been excellent. I recently lost my husband to pancreatic cancer in September. Amazingly, I have not been sidetracked with my payment history and I consider this a blessing. I paid off a car much early than expected in September last year and now I am in the process of paying off my new car now. I know that as long as I remain firm and not allow people who don’t want to fix their credit issues to mess with my credit I will be fine. Thank you for allowing me to share.

  • I am 67 years old with a credit score around 660. I have had a checking account w/ debit card from B. O. A. for 6 + years, no fees because S. S. is direct deposited. In Jan. they 0ffered me a pre- paid platinum cash back credit card, $39.00 a year and $95.00 deposit for $500.00 credit, $200.00 cash advance. I use it for most purchases, esp. gas, and have already enough cash back to pay the annual fee. Also they occasionally offer special cash back deals at retailers I deal with which has saved me even more money. I keep track of my balances and transfer funds from checking right away. I think this is a great way to go that is helping rebuild my credit and will eventually lead to a fee free credit card.

    • Hi Ed,

      That’s great that you have been able to build your credit by maintaining good spending habits. It just goes to show you that credit can work in your favor if you use it responsibly. How many points has your score gone up since you have been using this card?

      Abbey

  • is there anything that can get a report off my record from a bank after the bank has sold the debt to another company? On the other company they called and said they were taking me to court over the bill or I could settle for a lesser amount, but the account still shows up from the bank. Also how long does a charge off remain on your report? I am pretty sure that some of the charge offs have been sold to other collectors and I was given the option by the other company to pay a lesser amount which I did. I have paid on time since 2010 on my other debts but I still have a score or 659, which has gone up 7 points in the last month. I know I can pay my cards down and it will jump up another 20 points but I want it fixed so it does not go down below an acceptable level just because I use my credit cards. My goals is to have my number at 700 before July. Also do you have to ask for the credit bureau to take reports older than 7 years off your record or do they do that automatically, because I have one from 2005. Thanks

    • Hi Chris,

      That’s great that you have a solid goal to raise your credit score to 700. Making the decision to tackle the problem is usually the hardest step for people to take, so give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far.

      With regards to your charge-offs, you are still obligated to pay them even though they have been sold to collection agencies. Charge-offs remain on your report for 7 years plus 180 days from the first date of nonpayment. If you are unsure of which company you need to pay, contact the original creditor and ask them who your account was sold to.

      Most debts should only stay on your report for 7 years, and although they should be automatically removed, many times they remain due to some error on the credit bureaus’ part. They are constantly compiling information for millions of people, and mistakes happen. You can request the removal in writing and provide any documentation that supports your claim. You can find the credit bureau addresses here: https://thecreditsolutionprogram.com/staging/credit-bureau-addresses/

      Abbey

  • Mike,

    Someone used my name in enrolling in a school program w/c cost $1,500 from an out of state. I don’t know how they got my info. When i check my credit score. It was already in a collection company it was almost 8 yrs still its in my credit history. What shall i do.

    • Hi Lyn,

      If this account was opened fraudulently, you may want to inform the company that the account was opened with. Identity theft is illegal and you should not be held accountable for the charges. Gather any documentation that can help prove your case and get in touch with the creditor.

      Abbey

  • Wondering if there is anyway to check somehow. Lets say someone gets a hold of enough of your informmation to apply for credit card to be sent to their house and they usr it but a whole month goes by before a bill comes is there anyway to look up or see somewhere that I have this credit card out there before negative things start happening to my credit?

  • After losing my business and having a 4.3 million dollar BK, I took 1500 cash went to a credit union and got my first secured Visa Card. It was the only way for me, I knew. To begin the process of rebuilding. That card has turned into several cards two new car loans and the process of buying a new home. That was well over 135 credit points ago, lol and the score continues to climb

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