By LaToya Irby. Credit/Debt Management Expert
Welcome to About.com's Credit/Debt Management site, led by your guide, LaToya Irby. LaToya has been the credit and debt management guide since 2007. Read more
Society is becoming increasingly dependent on using credit to make purchases and decisions. These days, good credit is used for more than just getting a credit card or a loan. More and more businesses are making the case that you must have good credit before they extend products or services to you.
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If you don’t have good credit, the lender will consider it risky to give you a mortgage loan. This could result in a higher cost of borrowing or worse, a denial of the loan.
Don’t think that because you’re not on the market for a new home, that your credit won’t be called into question. Your credit is used for rental decisions, too. Landlords consider your lease as a loan. You’re being loaned a place to live and the landlord wants to know you’ll pay back this loan. If you don't have good credit, you can get denied for an apartment.
Unless you have the cash to purchase a car, you’ll have
to get a loan. Your credit not only affects whether or not you qualify for a loan, but also the amount and interest rate of the loan. Generally, loan applicants with good credit qualify for larger loan amounts with lower interest rates.
Many employers conduct credit checks as a part of the hiring process. If you haven’t demonstrated financial responsibility, a prospective employer might be hesitant to hire you. For example, the employer might believe your level of debt is too high for the salary offered.
Many people have dreams of starting their own business. Most business startups require a sizable amount of cash that you might not have available. In that case, you’ll need to obtain a small business loan. Among other things, you need to have good credit to qualify for the business loan.
Since your credit is defined by how you’ve paid (or not paid) your bills in the past, many businesses – landlords, mortgage lenders, utility providers, and even employers – use your credit to predict your future financial responsibility. Anytime you need to borrow money, or even services, your credit is called into question. This is why maintaining good credit is so important.