Credit Score Articles

Consumers should make sure they benefit from a strong credit score

Most Americans with high credit scores know that they may be able to secure loans more easily and be rewarded with low interest rates. But some individuals are still unaware of just how much their credit score plays into other financial areas. Because of this, consumers may be shorting themselves by failing to shop around for loans or using their high score to achieve the maximum benefit. Knowing when a strong score will benefit a consumer is a good first step in saving money.

In some instances, renters may be able to negotiate their rent with their landlord, according to U.S. News and World Report. Negotiating rent payments is most often effective when rents have been falling in the area that a consumer lives and usually works best with an individual landlord, the news magazine said. Landlords are more willing to adjust the rent or offer a small discount to renters who have demonstrated a consistent payment history and maintain a strong credit score.

Consumers who have recently improved their credit score may also be able to purchase insurance at a lower rate. Insurance agents partially determine rates and premiums based on a consumer's credit score. A higher score may prompt some consumers to shop around for lower rates and more rewards. Given the competitive market, consumers may be able to obtain a better rate from their current insurer if they inform them that they are considering taking their business elsewhere, the news magazine reports. With a high credit score and solid payment history, customers may also receive a higher "loyalty discount" that many insurance agents offer customers after a certain number of years, said the news magazine.

Whether a consumer will be successful in negotiating lower rates and discounts will depend on the individual or company they are dealing with. However, it is still important to nurture their credit score, which will undoubtedly play an important role in other areas, such as gaining employment or securing a low rate on a credit card.

Making all payments on time, keeping an individual's credit-to-debt ratio low and refraining from applying for numerous lines of credit will help keep a consumer's credit score in line and increase their likelihood of receiving the best rates from lenders.