Good credit is the key to opening the doors for so much of what is good in these United States of America. For this non-traditional Thanksgiving, here are seven credit related blessings I think are worthy of thankful consideration.
If you are in the fortunate category of folks with both a high credit score and a clean credit report, don’t forget to count your blessings this Thanksgiving.
Good credit is the key to opening the doors for so much of what is good in these United States of America. Typically at Thanksgiving dinner, I would ask everyone to tell about something they are thankful for. This year my Thanksgiving table consists of my wife and myself, so let me ask you … what are you thankful for this year?
In this non-traditional year, here are seven of those credit related blessings I think are worthy of thankful consideration.
7 reasons to be thankful for good credit
1. You can qualify for the best credit cards
Keeping Score and I are proud to be a part of the CreditCards.com family, where they are all about not just credit cards but the “right” cards and decision-making tools for you. There is a card out there for just about anyone with just about any credit score.
But the best credit cards – the ones with the lowest rates, the most cash back and other perks, the ones accepted anywhere – are reserved for those with the best credit scores. The information-packed articles on this site are sure to make you and your scores thankful that they are the best they can be and help keep them that way.
2. You can get lower interest ratesIf you tend to carry a balance on your cards, you may be thankful that the best credit cards available to you have the lowest interest rates. At first glance, it hardly seems fair that those with the best scores and credit reports qualify for the best of everything in credit, while those who are struggling with debt and could use an interest break don’t get one. But when you look at it objectively it is easy to see why that is.
Demonstrating that you can handle the credit you are given is an incentive for lenders to compete for your business. After all, who doesn’t want to work with someone they know they can trust? And why shouldn’t you be rewarded?
Because you have great credit, these lower rates will also be yours when you get ready to buy a car, take out a student loan or buy a house. All of these are big ticket items where the interest rate can make hundreds (and in the case of a mortgage, even thousands) of dollars’ difference in the amount you will ultimately pay over the life of the loan. A higher score really gives you something to be thankful for as you pay off in these scenarios.
3. It can help you rent an apartment
Good credit and better credit may be all that stands between you and the apartment of your dreams. Given a choice between two people who are otherwise equal, someone with score of 600 as opposed to another with an 800-plus score, the person with the higher score will likely be moving in if there is only one apartment to be had. No matter what, the better your score, the more thankful you will be for the options you will have when it comes to housing.
See related: Tips for renting an apartment with bad credit
4. You can get better insurance rates
Insurers use credit reports and an algorithm to develop insurance scores that help predict the chance that you will file a claim.
I know, I know: there’s nothing about claims history on your credit report. Once again, though, how you handle your finances is a window into your larger life and determines what kind of risk your lender is taking on. That risk will be directly tied to your insurance rates and can make you thankful that you enjoy substantial savings.
5. You can avoid paying deposits for utilities
Your good credit could also keep your utility companies from requiring a deposit from you. Your credit report tells those companies that you pay your bills on time and keep your financial promises. Getting your lights turned on just got a little cheaper!
6. It can help you get a job
Or maybe even a promotion! Your credit report – basically a résumé others fill out for you – is something you cannot enhance or fake. That is one big reason it is a tool some employers use to help them make a hiring decision.
Your good credit report tells the story of someone who keeps their promises (your great on-time payment history), exercises sound judgment (you don’t max out your credit cards) and is responsible (you have no accounts in collection).
Employers can use credit reports to see how potential employees handle multiple aspects of their financial life. And if you are already employed, you may be thankful that you could stand a better chance at a promotion if you have a better report than those you are competing against, for all of the same reasons.
7. It’s a sign you’re financially healthy
We are thankful for a healthy body, so you should be thankful for financial health. If you are struggling financially, your stress levels will almost certainly rise. This is not good for your heart or your mind or your body. While I don’t believe it is healthy to be obsessive about your credit score, I do think knowing your finances are in good standing is great for your overall financial – and otherwise – health.
See related: Which credit score matters most?
And on a professional note …
I am thankful to the good people at CreditCards.com, who have given me the opportunity to help so many of you through this column. I’m also thankful for J. Wiley and Sons for OK’ing a fifth edition of my book “Credit Repair Kit For Dummies,” which will come out at the time many people will need it in January. Lastly, I’m thankful for the help of Rod Griffin at Experian and Melyssa Barrett at Visa, who collaborated with me on this much-needed project.
Remember to keep track of your score, and happy Thanksgiving!