How Important Is A Good Credit Score, Really?

I understand that I am not one of the people who are concerned with whether they have good credit.

I also understand that I am not a part of the popular crowd because I feel it isn’t a priority to have a good credit score.  I don’t borrow money, and I don’t have a credit card.

I also don’t ever plan on borrowing money.  There will always be another way for me.

But that isn’t the case for others.

So, let’s get right down to exploring credit scores.

 

What Is A Credit Score?

Your credit score is a number assigned to you based on your worthiness to handle debt.  If you borrow money and use a credit card, you will have a credit score.  Based on how quickly you pay that back and what kind of balance you carry, will determine how high your number is.

The number usually is between 300 and 850 (850 being perfect and rare).

According to Equifax, the rating system looks like this :

  • 300-579: Poor
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 670-739: Good
  • 740-799: Very good
  • 800-850: Excellent

A good credit score is recorded and kept by three different companies or bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. They may vary a little but the majority of the time, they are close enough.

If you are looking to check your credit score for free, there are companies out there like Credit Sesame that will give you a free credit report.

 

What Is Credit Sesame?

Credit Sesame is a company that deals with all things credit.  From information on credit cards to loans of all kinds.  But for me, most importantly, they give you those free credit reports and monitor your credit for signs of identity theft.

It seems every time you turn around, there has been a privacy breach, and credit/debit card information has been stolen.

Just last week, I shared on my Facebook page a way to see if you were entitled to part of the lawsuit payout with Equifax.

Another argument for going to a cash-only system, maybe?

They need your name, email, and yes, your social security number.  Honestly, this concerned me a little.

 

Is Credit Sesame Safe?

Just as safe as a bank!

Credit Sesame has been around since 2010 so its not a new company.

They use the same encryption and firewalls that banks use, and when you sign up, you only include the last four digits of your SS#.

You can see their A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau HERE.

All the BBB comments are also visible.

 

Is It Easy To Use?

Very. It took me about 6 minutes to enter some necessary information and get my score.

It also gave me a debt analysis, and because I have none, mine was a zero.

It then suggested a couple of credit cards to improve my payment history (no thanks).

 

A Few More Notes About Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame does provide a FREE credit report to you – no strings attached.  It comes from the Transunion Credit Bureau and is accurate and reliable.

They do offer a paid membership that will give you extended privileges to their site if you feel you need them.

Their site is easy to navigate, and their number is accurate.  Although everyone who offers a score will come up with something a little different, I was happy with these results.

 

Credit Sesame Review

If you decide to go with Credit Sesame or another company that provides free credit reports, it’s always the right thing to do to keep an eye on your money.

If your money and your future are important to you, make sure you know what is going on, so someone else doesn’t grab what is rightfully yours.

A best practice is to take a look at your credit report at least a few times a year.

 

Why Do You Need A Credit Score?

There are a lot of scenarios where you might need a good credit score, and it sure might make life easier for you if you have one.

If you are ut in a position where you might be doing on or more of the following things, a good credit score might be something important to you.

 

Renting a house or an apartment

A landlord might run a credit report before renting you a home.  A good credit score is a hint that you pay your bills on time.

Ways around this:

If you do not have a good credit report or any credit, you may have to pay a few months in advance or a larger security deposit.  Also, utility companies may request a deposit to use their services.

 

Getting a loan

To get a loan for a car (or any other investment for that matter), you need to have a good credit score.  The lower your score, the higher your interest rate or, the higher your chances are that you will be denied.

Ways around this:

Save money and pay cash for a car. New cars are overrated and lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot.  Saving money is the best way to getting around borrowing, but it takes time and patience.  Also, instant gratification is never going to work out for you.

 

Applying for a credit card

You need credit to get credit… a credit card that is.  As long as you can use a credit card responsibly – using it sporadically and paying it off in full without going hog wild at Sephora and the Michael Kors Outlet – you might be ok.

But, as we know from statistics, these people are few and far between.  Credit card debt is at an all-time high.

Ways around this:

Pay cash.  Period.

 

Buying a house

Getting a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage as well as getting a mortgage at all will depend on your good credit score.  The interest rate makes a lot of difference when borrowing a large sum of money.

Ways around this:

Buy a smaller home at a lower price.  Small house living isn’t so bad.  Speaking from experience, you can read all about it here.

Also, there are banks still around that will do manual underwriting.  They aren’t as popular as the big banks and mortgage lenders, but if you do some research, you can find them.  Check out Dave Ramsey’s website.  He has some info to help find a manual underwriter.

 

Refinancing student loans

Getting a reduced interest rate on your student loan is a great idea.  Especially if you think that baby is going to be around a while.  Having a good credit score will help you get a better interest rate.  I can’t argue with that.

Ways around this:

Don’t think twice about the interest rate.  Just cut back your spending to the craziest minimum you can and throw everything you have at that beast until you pay it off!

 

Getting a job

A potential boss will not be looking at your credit score but might be looking at your credit report.  Having nothing on your credit report may seem a little suspicious to someone hiring you.

They may feel that if you can pay your bills on time and manage your money responsibly, then you will be a responsible employee.

Ways around this:

Simply explaining that you are a cash kinda gal and you really believe that saving up for the things you want instead of borrowing money to buy things is not the way you want to live your life might be more impressive than how great you are at paying your bills. It shows dedication and responsibility as well as sticking to things for the long haul until the job is done.

 

The Equifax Breach And Your Credit

In 2017, hackers havers found a vulnerability and used that to breach the firm Equifax.  147 million Americans were affected. They did notify some who were affected and offered them a years worth of identity theft protection, insurance, and credit monitoring.

As I posted on my Facebook page this week, this website was set up to confirm whether you are eligible for some of the benefits.  I was qualified for the $125 payout.  Please check this website:

Equifax Data Breach Settlement

It seems that with the use of technology and credit debit card use on the rise, we make ourselves very vulnerable to theft.  One of the best ways I know to be responsible with your money and your credit is to keep an eye on it.

What better way to do this than for FREE.

Check out Credit Sesame.

 

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