Everyone should know the importance of sound money management and the detrimental effects of having poor credit. Sadly around 18 million brits are currently thought to be actively harming their credit score and risking their financial future.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Day to Day Life?

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Recently the economic downturn due to the Covid pandemic has seen the increased strain on people’s incomes and has resulted in more people missing payments or falling behind with their prices on credit accounts due to reduced revenues or increased bills eating into the money they have.

What Is A Poor Credit Score?

There are two main credit agencies in the UK and a list of variables that make up whether or not al ender accepts your credit application. On Experian, anything under 800 is classed as poor, and 720 and under is very poor. Equifax rates poor credit scores as those with a score of 420 or below with very poor from 0-279.

How Does Poor Credit Affect Your Day to Day Life?

Whether you realise it or not, having a poor credit score can affect more than a simple yes or no for applications you make. The effects can be wide-reaching and have an impact on many different things in your life. However, having poor credit now doesn’t mean this is it for you. You can always change your score and work to improve it by keeping on top of payments. You can follow money bloggers, listen to a credit risk podcast or join forums to get inspiration from others on how to improve your credit score.

This post looks at some of the ways a poor credit score can impact your life.

Renting Accommodation

If you have a good credit score, you can have your pick of homes to rent. Because many landlords and letting agencies conduct credit checks before allowing you to move in, having a poor credit history could jeopardise your plans to relocate.

The prevelance of ‘comprehensive’ credit checks from companies such as Experian has made it possible for landlords to check your financial history before you move in. Over six years, they look for any financial mistakes, such as a CCJ or defaults, that may have occurred in your life.

This isn’t just restricted to those applying for a mortgage now. Everyone is aware of how a poor credit history and bad financial mistakes can stop you from getting reasonable mortgage rates or even a mortgage at all. But a poor credit score also affects your renting ability too.

Buying A New Car

Buying a new car isn’t cheap. Many people consider financing their new vehicle with a personal loan to spread the cost over a more extended period. Personal loans are typically subject to a credit check. The same is true if you choose to go the traditional route and secure a PCP or hire purchase deal through a car dealership, in which case your credit would also be checked.

For the most part, if you’re entering a financial agreement with a company – whether it’s to finance a new car, a new sofa, or anything in between – you’ll almost certainly be asked to provide information about your credit history.

Applying for Jobs

If you apply for a job in specific industries – for example, if you’re involved in financial transactions or cash handling – the employer may run a credit check on you before extending you the offer. This is solely due to the nature of the employment you’re seeking, and it is not a common practice in the recruitment industry as a whole.

Careers that require good credit include;

  • Accounting
  • Police
  • Army
  • Legal

Higher Interest Rates

The better your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be. Lower rates and a good credit score means you are more likely to pay back what you owe on time as per your contract. A lower credit score is reflective of missing payments and bad financial decisions. So frequently, lenders will offer a higher interest rate to mitigate the risk of lending. Meaning, you are paying more money back as a buffer in case you default.

Insurance Premiums

Do you have household or car insurance? Or how about life insurance? All the insurance premiums you are offered will be based in part on your credit score. Much like with loans, the more chequered your history, the higher your payments will be. If you are paying a lump sum upfront, you can usually eradicate this. However, if you make monthly instalments, you are being credited the insurance premium you are paying back, thus accounting for the higher interest rates or increased premiums.

Household Bills

Whatever your mobile phone tariff or 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 scrutinised as part of the process.

When it comes to paying your bills, you’ll most likely have no issues whatsoever. If, on the other hand, you have a poor credit history – for example, if you’ve defaulted on a loan in the past – your utility company may require you to have prepayment meters to avoid running up bills meaning you end up paying more than direct debits.

New Relationships

While this might not be a make or break topic for new relationships, it can impact budding relationships, especially if you haven’t gotten your financial situation under control. People want to know what type of person you are embarking on a relationship with and your credit history and money habits play a big part in this. If you have experienced financial difficulties you have recovered from, you may find this isn’t an issue. But if you are exhibiting poor financial choices and errant behaviour as far as your credit is concerned, this can be a warning flag in a new relationship.

On the face of it, a poor credit score can simply look like being refused credit. However, suppose you fail to make amends and improve your credit score. In that case, you may find that you are experiencing the effects of this in other areas of your life, such as getting preferable energy rates or being able to advance your career or maybe even pursuing a new relationship.