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7 Reasons Why Having an Emergency Fund Can Improve Your Credit

If you have to turn to your retirement savings or put the whole darn thing on a credit card, then you start to spiral into debt that can affect your future, and can even affect your credit.

Natural Disasters

Let’s say you live in Florida or right in the depths of tornado alley. Natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes are right up your alley (no pun intended). The problem these days is that insurance companies aren’t offering hurricane or tornado insurance policies in these high-risk areas anymore.

So, guess what? If you buy a new home and it’s in sunny Miami, Florida and Hurricane What’s-its-name is barreling down on you, you’re fully responsible for repairing any damages to your home.

Don’t let the natural disaster fool you, either. Maybe you live in a flood zone or insert other natural disaster here.

After the storm passes, you realize the house repairs consist mostly of getting the water out of your living room, repairing drywall, painting, and replacing the furniture. It could be worse. If you have cash savings to turn to, then these repairs don’t seem that bad.

It’s when you don’t have the cash to cover it that you end up burning up all your credit cards with the repair costs. There goes your credit score.

Stress Relief

I don’t know about you, but I sleep a lot better at night when I know that I have a cushion of cash tucked away in the bank. It’s a huge stress reliever for me, and probably for most people, to know that in case of an emergency or unexpected expense that I have something to fall back on.

For most, maxing out their credit cards is not the ideal plan to have in place. This just increases the amount of your overall debt, which can affect your credit. If you run up the credit card debt too much, it can even become difficult to make the minimum payments, let alone paying off the debt.

I think we all know how that story ends.

Vet Bills

Some of us love Fifi or Fido as much as we do our human children. It means we’ll do anything to save them, including paying the vet bills. This happened to me last year. My beloved 14-year-old Jack Russell got cancer. The oncology bills were thousands of dollars and I still wasn’t able to save him.

I had money stashed away, so I used that money rather than having to charge it on a credit card.

If you don’t pay your vet bills, off to collections they go and down the toilet your credit goes.

Keeps You Out of Debt

No matter what your emergency or urgent need for cash is, if you don’t have actual cash on hand, you’re likely to turn to credit cards or taking out loans. Accumulating debt can have all sorts of effects on your credit (none of which are good).

If you have a rainy day fund, it eliminates your need for running up your credit card bills or establishing loans—all of which can damage your credit rather than help it.

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.

1 Comment

  • Thank you for helping be aware of what I should do to have an emergency fund, and how it can keep me out of debt.

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