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Benefits of Better Credit

2022-05-06

Sometimes, it can be easy to forget why you work so hard. This is especially true if you’re in the process of repairing your credit. You pay bills on time, budget with discipline, and do everything in your power to improve your financial health. And yet you may feel like you’re running in place on a financial treadmill, rather than actively getting closer to your destination. Worse yet, it’s possible to lose sight of the goal altogether.

This blog is a reminder of what you’re working towards. To that end, we want to show you the financial impact and amazing benefits of better credit.

A Quick Review of Credit

Let’s start by getting back to the basics.

What is credit? In short, it’s the ability to borrow money with the promise you’ll pay it back by a certain date.

Your credit history is a record of your overall credit repayment; on-time payments, late payments, and no payments.

And your credit score gives lenders an idea of your creditworthiness.

One of the most widely used credit score models is FICO® (created by the Fair Isaac Corporation). FICO® scores range from 300 to 850. A score of under 580 is considered a Poor rating. It shows potential lenders this borrower could be a risk. Conversely, a FICO® score of 670 to 739 is rated as Good, and demonstrates to potential creditors this borrower could be reliable.

Ultimately, bad credit could be considered risky, while good credit may be rewarded in the following ways:

1. Higher Credit Limit Approval

With better credit, you could get approved for a higher credit limit. Good credit demonstrates to lenders you’re reliable. As a result, it may encourage them to lend you more money.

With a higher credit limit you might have the financial freedom to make larger purchases more efficiently, instead of trying to open another credit card to cover a big purchase. If you do open an additional card, it’ll lower your total accounts’ age average. Thus, potentially lowering your credit score.

However, you might also be able to lower your credit utilization, which plays a big role in your credit score.

2. Better Insurance Rates

Tired of paying pricey premiums for auto and home insurance? Better credit may help lower your rates. According to a recent auto insurance study, poor credit raised rates over 61% compared to consumers who had average credit. Conversely, those with very good credit saved more than 17% per year.

Another analysis found that drivers with poor credit may pay over $2,500 more per year than drivers with very good credit.

The facts are clear: better credit can help save significant money at home and on the road.

3. Better Access to Utility Services

Poor credit can even complicate something as essential as receiving utility services. According to the Federal Trade Commission, utility companies will look at your credit history when you apply for services. The better your credit, the easier it’ll be to attain those services. Unfortunately, if you’re a new utility customer or an existing customer with a poor payment history, they may charge a deposit or even ask for a letter of guarantee (i.e. a friend or family member who accepts responsibility for any unpaid bills).

However, with good credit and payment history you could get utility services with no deposit or guarantor required.

4. Better Housing Options

If you’ve ever applied for an apartment in a major metropolitan area, you know how difficult approval can be with less-than-perfect credit. With good credit you may gain a competitive edge when you apply to rent an apartment. For frame of reference, the average U.S. renter’s credit score was 638 in 2020.

Similarly, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states good credit could be influential in your ability to get a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage loan.

Raise Your Credit Score to Move Forward

Let’s review the benefits of improving your credit:

  • You may get better rates on auto and home insurance
  • You might receive access to higher credit limits (while lowering credit utilization)
  • You might not have to pay deposits on utilities (or find for a guarantor)
  • You could have greater optionality in finding the apartment or home of your dreams

What’s not to like? It’s clear good credit plays an integral role in the full picture of your financial life.

Welcome to First Phase: where less-than-perfect is more than enough.

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First Phase Visa® is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

First Phase reports payment history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build your credit if used responsibly. Building credit is accomplished by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time every month. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report and may impact your ability to build credit. First Phase begins credit reporting following your first purchase or cash advance using your card.

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This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.