5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Credit Report

Banks Editorial Team · November 24, 2017

Maybe you love the idea of living completely debt free, no credit cards, no car payment, nothing.

Or maybe you just bought a house and you’re not planning on making any big purchases in the next, say, five to ten years. That means you can finally ignore your credit report for awhile, right?

Wrong. The sad truth is, we’re not in control of the world. Just because you’re planning to live a certain way for the foreseeable future doesn’t mean the game of life is going to cooperate with you. And when the unexpected happens, good credit can only help.

Here are five scenarios where your credit comes into play that will convince you to keep paying attention to your credit report.

An unexpected need to borrow money

You’re not planning to make any big purchases, but what if your car engine blows up tomorrow? Or the house you just bought develops a leaky roof that needs replacing? Or you’re suddenly expecting a new baby and could use another bedroom and a second bathroom? You can’t always anticipate large expenses and sometimes it just makes sense to borrow. When you do, you want to make sure your credit is up to snuff so you get the best interest rate possible.

A great job opportunity

Think your position at your company is secure? We live in uncertain times. If your company goes under, you get laid off, or you just get a new manager you can’t stand, you’ll need to find a new job. Many employers pull a credit report as part of the recruitment process to help them decide if you’re trustworthy. The time you’re under consideration for your dream job is not the time you want to find out that someone has opened a credit card in your name, used it to finance a lavish trip to Italy and then defaulted.

Renting a place to live

You better believe that landlords use credit to decide whether or not to rent to you, and how much of a security deposit to ask for. Bad credit means throwing down a much bigger chunk of money to move in, if you get the place at all.

Saving money on insurance

If you need to buy home or auto insurance, a good credit score will help you get a better rate. Almost all major insurers now use credit to set prices, and a bad credit score could mean you pay hundreds of dollars more per year than you need to.

Getting electricity and phone service

Yes, even some utility companies (and definitely cell phone service providers) will pull credit and hike securities deposits --or deny service altogether --for those deemed uncreditworthy.

As you can see, ignoring your credit can come back to bite you. It’s much better to spend the effort to review your credit report for errors of fraudulent activity at least two to three times a year.

Staying on top of it will help keep your finances --and your life --running smoothly.

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