This post was sponsored by Lexington Law Firm.
Growing up doesn’t come with instructions. While, we learn a lot from school, our parents, and peers, I don’t know anyone who has come up with a true recipe for success. One area that is lacking serious guidance–especially in adolescence–is managing and building your credit score. The importance of this score cannot be minimized because a high score can open so many doors. If your credit score is less than desired, fear not, there are many things you can do to clean up that spotty report. This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law, but everything in this blog is based on my thoughts and opinions.
What your Credit Score Says About You…
As much as your credit score is not a reflection of your character, it does let people know several things about you. It is absolutely not a reason to pass judgement, but if entering into a financial agreement, this number can offer some level of trust–or not.
When Getting a Job
It’s less common to have your credit score come up when applying for a job, but if the position requires a high level of financial responsibility, the chances are high that your score will be in question. When preparing to enter the workforce, prepare answers to these job interview questions, and always keep an eye on your credit score.
When Getting a Loan
Buying your first home or car? Unless you’ve got the cash to spare, you’ll probably be asking to borrow money from a bank. This is arguably the most important reason for keeping the highest credit score possible–it can save you thousands of dollars and award more buying power. With a strong score, you’ll be eligible for lower interest rates and potentially larger loans.
When Apartment Shopping
I’m still learning how to adult. I’ve lived in my parent’s home, then a house my ex-husband and I bought together, and then back to my parent’s where we split the bills. I’ve never had to shop for an apartment, but in a year or two, that’s going to be my focus.
My ex-husband still owns the house we purchased. He rents it out and has shared numerous landlord stories with me. He’s had tenants who were a pleasure to have in the home–paying on time every month and taking great care of the property. He’s also had the worst kind of renters. The type that don’t pay on time, neglect the house, and create a disturbance in the neighborhood. It’s for these types of reasons that a credit check is usually required before a rental agreement for an apartment or home is put into place. The owner is responsible for the financial and physical care of the property and if the tenant has a bad history with finances, it means a potentially high risk for the owner.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get into an apartment if your credit score isn’t perfect. However, before applying for an apartment, check your credit report. If there are any issues, consider using a trusted source to help clean up the discrepancies. Pay off any outstanding debt and, if possible, give your score time to reflect these changes. Also, make sure you’re not applying to numerous apartments. If your credit is run too many times in a short period, this could lower it even further.
Once you’ve found the apartment you want, provide proof of employment so the owner knows you have the income needed to pay the rent. Providing references that can vouch for your ability to be an upstanding tenant, and finding a cosigner or roommate can also help your chances of getting into your desired rental abode.
Thanks Jen 🙂
I have my big sister to thank for my good credit. We weren’t raised together, so we received dramatically different upbringings. She was raised with a lot of business sense, while I was raised in art-focused surroundings. I was around 13 when I started paying attention to how she handled finances. I was standing at a register with her while shopping and saw her accordion wallet filled with an array of plastic. Noticing my wide eyes, she said, “I am obsessed with getting maximum rewards for all my purchases, but I pay every single one of these off every month.” In that simple moment, I wanted to be just like her. I started asking questions and observing all of her financial habits. To this day, she is obsessively protective of her excellent credit and it’s a huge part of why mine has remained in good standing, despite being a single mom with debt and a tight budget.
If you’ve checked your credit report and found concerning red flags, consider asking Lexington Law for help. They have a team of professionals available to you for a low monthly price.