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Bad Credit Isn’t Just About Loans

If you’re like the majority of people in the world, you likely never think about things like your credit score or credit report – at least not unless you’re actively trying to borrow money or buy a house, in which case your every thought probably centers on those two things. Most people think that their credit, good or bad, only impacts their lives when they’re borrowing money in some way – but the fact is, you’re borrowing money in subtle, hidden ways much more frequently than you imagine, and bad credit can impact many aspects of your life that you might not expect. The simple fact is, if you have a poor credit score or credit report, your life is worse than it should be, whether you realize it or not. Here are a few common ways that bad credit hurts you.

Renting a Flat

Renting a place isn’t borrowing money – but it shouldn’t be surprising that a potential landlord will pull your credit report, because it’s a financial arrangement. It’s much more difficult to evict a bad tenant than it is to refuse to rent to a potential tenant, so landlords are careful to select tenants that they feel can actually pay the rent they’re asking. If your credit rating is poor or there are a lot of problems on your credit report – or if your credit report shows you as unemployed when you claim otherwise – the landlord may assume you’re a poor risk, and likely to fall behind on their rent. So you may have found the perfect apartment, but suddenly you’re denied – and now you’ll know why.

Getting a Job

Many employers now use your credit report as a sort of criminal litmus test. While they can’t assume you’re likely to steal from them or abuse your employee privileges, they can assume that people with financial troubles are more likely to do so, and they can also assume that if your personal finances are in chaos you can’t be trusted to handle their business for them. It’s more and more common for companies to pull credit reports even for low-level and entry-level jobs, and to pass over fully qualified candidates simply because of a poor credit rating.

Getting a Mobile Phone

That’s right – you might end up paying a lot more for a service contract if you have a poor credit rating. Mobile phone providers are putting you under contract, and while it might seem like they can simply turn off your service if you don’t pay the fact is that point usually comes once you’re already a few payments late – leaving the company at a loss. As a result, they use the same process as employers to review your credit report in an attempt to determine whether you’re a good risk for their services.

The list, sadly, goes on. If you have made a mess of your credit but think it’s something you can deal with later because you don’t plan on buying a house any time soon – think again. Poor credit can impact your life in a thousand ways that don’t seem to have any direct relationship to credit. And like employers, more and more service providers and other entities are discovering that your financial history is a great window onto your personal life. Check your credit report today and start the work of cleaning it up – it’s well worth the effort.

Mark Quigley is the owner and director of Darcey Quigley, experts in commercial and international debt recovery based in the UK. Follow Darcey Quigley on Twitter.