Your credit score affects many parts of your life, from the interest rate you pay on your mortgage to your ability to get a job or rent an apartment. But there is an awful lot of confusion over which factors influence your credit score and which do not.
Did you know that the five factors listed below have absolutely no affect at all on your score?
Most people think that having a big chunk of money saved up will give their credit score a boost but that just isn’t the case. Having a healthy emergency fund and savings account is certainly a smart financial move, but your credit score is meant to judge the likelihood of repaying your debts on time, not your ability to save. A million dollars in the bank won’t help your score if you miss a few credit card payments.
No matter how high or low your salary is, it has absolutely no impact on your credit score. Someone with a very low salary could have a higher credit score than someone earning much more. Of course a lower salary could make it more difficult for you to pay your bills on time, and that would definitely have an impact on your credit score. But don’t expect a new promotion and raise to have any effect on your FICO score.
There can be a correlation between your age and your credit score but that does not mean that one actually causes the other. While your age is not a factor in your credit score calculation, it can have an indirect effect on your score. An older person will generally have a longer credit history and would have had more time to recover from any financial missteps they made when they were younger. But being young does not automatically doom you to a low score.
Your Employment Status
If you are in the market for a loan, potential lenders will definitely look at your employment history when considering your application. They will want to see that you’re responsible and have a stable job so you can pay them back. However, your employment status does not affect your credit score. In fact, you can be unemployed and still have a good credit score as long as you continue making payments on time. Obviously your credit score will suffer if your lack of unemployment keeps you from paying your bills.
Your Marital Status
If you have a lousy credit score and you think you can give it a quick boost by marrying someone more credit-savvy than yourself, think again. There is no such thing as a shared credit score for married couples. You each keep your own individual credit file and getting married won’t wash away any money mistakes from your past. Of course, if you take out a loan with your spouse, payment history will then be recorded on both of your credit reports. Keep making those payments on time and you’ll both reap the benefits of a higher score.
Mike Collins is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance topics. He’s also a husband and father of three children who keep him very busy. You can read more about his quest to achieve financial freedom for his family at WealthyTurtle.com