Your credit report has four kinds of information:
We all know that bad credit will cause us to pay higher rates on mortgages and car loan. We may even be turned down for credit. But there are other ways credit scores impact our lives.
Job applications: Almost 50% of companies say they run a credit check on job applicants before they hire them. Bad credit can cause you to be turned down for a job. (Note: Employers can pull credit reports but not credit scores.)
Utilities: Many people are surprised to learn that utilities check your credit before extending service. Bad credit may cause you to have to put down a hefty deposit before service starts, where no deposit will be required for those with good credit. Cell phone and cable providers frequently check credit before extending service.
Elective medical procedures: If you have a medical procedure that is not covered by insurance, bad credit may cause you to have to pay your bill in full before the procedure, rather than being offered a monthly payment plan.
Car loans: Not only does a low score force you into a higher rate, but you might even pay more for your car. A study by the Consumer Federation of America found that buyers with the lowest credit paid an average of 3.5% more for their car than did people with better credit.
Car insurance: Many insurance companies use credit to determine both initial eligibility and what premiums will be. The worse your credit score, the higher the premium.
School loans: Bad credit can cause you to be turned down for school loans. There are no options here; you are either approved or denied.
Free reports are being provided only through the following avenues:
Credit Reporting Agencies
Equifax P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022