From getting a new sofa to meeting your match (yep, really), your credit score can crop up at the most unexpected times.
We all know about credit checks when you apply for a credit card or a loan. If you’ve got a good credit score, you’ll have a better chance of being accepted – that’s old news.
But how those not-so-predictable times your credit score comes onto the scene? Here are seven things your credit score could affect…
1. Where you live
The world is your oyster… if you’ve got a good credit score, that is. With many landlords and letting agencies running credit checks before you move in, a poor credit background could scupper your plans to move.
With the likes of Experian offering ‘comprehensive’ credit checks, landlords are now able to check your financial history before you move in. They typically search for any financial mistakes over the past six years, like if you’ve received a CCJ or if you’ve defaulted.
2. Where you work
Got your eyes on a new job? If it’s in the finance or law sector, the company is legally required to ask for your credit history. If you’re going to be handling money for a living, it’s important to prove you can handle your own finances well.
Plus, if you’re struggling with debts, the employer might worry it’ll impact your performance at work. You’re free to refuse an employer credit check, of course – although this might affect their decision to go ahead with your application.
Let’s say your fixed-rate mortgage has expired and you’re looking to remortgage and switch to a better rate. You might think those days of improving your credit are behind you… but if you need to refinance a loan or mortgage, your credit score is just as important when it comes to securing the best deals.
If you’ve missed a payment since taking out your original mortgage, your credit score might have taken a tumble – and this could affect the type of deals available to you.
4. Life insurance
Can you really put a price on your life? Well, you can if you take out life insurance – and that price is determined by your credit score.
You might have noticed that searching for insurance on a comparison site leaves a mark on your credit report. Why? They’ll carry out a soft search on your credit report to make sure all of the details on your application are correct.
5. Paying your bills
Whether it’s for your mobile phone tariff or your utility bills, if you’re looking to set up a Direct Debit to pay your bills, it’s likely that your credit report will be under scrutiny.
In most cases, you’ll have no problem when it comes to paying bills. However, if you’ve got an adverse credit history – like if you’ve defaulted in the past – your utility company might be wary of entering into a contract with you.
6. Buying a new car
Getting a new set of wheels certainly doesn’t come cheap. Many people consider financing their new car with a personal loan to spread the cost, where a credit check is the norm. However, if you choose to go down a different route and secure a PCP deal or a hire purchase through a car dealership, you’d also be credit checked.
Basically, if you’re entering a financial contract with a company – whether it’s to finance a new car, sofa or anything in between – it’s fairly likely you’ll be asked to share your credit history.
7. Your love life…?
Okay, so this one is a little far-fetched. However, our friends over in the US have long discussed their credit histories and it’s now become a talking point when it comes to meeting your match.
Dr. Helen Fisher from the popular site Match.com says “Money talks, but your credit score can speak more about who you are as a person, and singles agree that those with good credit tend to be conscientious and reliable” – who knew?
Fingers crossed this trend doesn’t travel across the pond…
How to improve your credit score
Think your credit score could use a boost? Here are some ways you could improve it:
1) Sign up to the electoral roll with your current address – this’ll prove your identity and give your score a lift.