Good Credit: About More Than Just Home Loans
If you’ve ever bought a home, you are already familiar with the importance of having a good credit score, since lenders scrutinize credit history in determining loan eligibility. But buying a home is only one reason for building and maintaining a good credit score.
If the results of a recent survey by Visa USA are any indication, a lot of folks don’t realize that a poor credit rating could keep you from getting something else very important: The job you want … and it’s perfectly legal.
Visa USA’s survey shows that only 20 percent of Americans are aware that employers may legally refuse to hire an applicant with a low credit score. Over half of those surveyed (52%) mistakenly thought that an employer’s use of low credit scores as a criterion for hiring is illegal.
So, do most folks keep track of what their credit scores show? Apparently not. The survey found that 42 percent of people 18 and older have never checked their own scores. That means they have no way of knowing if their rating is good or bad.
By not staying current on their scores, people in their late teens and early 20’s in particular put themselves at risk for a variety of difficult financial challenges, including when trying to buy a home or car.
In an effort to help young consumers become more knowledgeable about credit scores and financial management, Visa USA has created ‘What’s My Score,’ a website full of information and resources. Among the suggestions the site offers is keeping your credit card balance low in relation to your available credit, sticking to your budget, and always paying your bills on time. Whether you’re a first time or repeat home buyer, those are good recommendations for everyone to follow!