There’s no avoiding it – your credit is intertwined with many parts of your life. Having good credit can give you more access to financial products, lower your monthly bills, and make it easier to get a job. But through no fault of their own, many people wind up with poor credit after an emergency or life-disaster leaves them with bills they can’t afford. After taking a closer look at some of the most common ways poor credit can impact your life, we’ll explore a few steps you can take to improve and repair your credit, including using the best credit repair services.
Five ways bad credit can hurt you
Credit impacts your finances, of course, but it’s important in all aspects of your money-life, even if you never want to take out a large loan or other financial aid.
1. It’s harder to qualify for a loan or credit card
Perhaps the most well-known reason for wanting good credit is that the better your credit, the more likely a creditor will approve you for a new account. If you want to buy a home or get one of the best auto loans, having good credit can be an important first step. Some loans have strict minimum credit score requirements, and the best credit cards are only available to those with good to excellent credit.
2. You may receive lower loan amounts and higher interest rates
Getting approved and getting a good offer can be very different. Some creditors work with people who have poor credit, but you may only be able to qualify for a high-rate loan. Or, you might get approved, but for a lower loan amount than you actually need.
3. You could pay more for insurance
In most states, insurance companies can review your credit reports and use a credit-based insurance score (along with other information) to determine your premiums. Having a good credit history can help you qualify for lower auto insurance, and homeowners insurance policies.
4. It can be harder to rent and move into a home
Landlords and property management companies will generally check your credit as part of a home rental application review. Some landlords will take a nuanced approach and only hold certain things against you, such as past evictions or non-medical late payments. Others may turn down all applicants who don’t have a minimum credit score. If you’re able to get a rental with poor credit, you may need to pay an extra security deposit for the rental, utility accounts, and internet service.
While employers don’t have access to your credit scores, they may be able to receive (with your written permission) a copy of your credit history. The report won’t contain certain information, such as your date of birth, but employers may use it to help decide who to hire or promote. Having a good credit history can be particularly important if you’re looking for work within financial services or in a role related to finances or sensitive information.
According to Google, Gmail has been blocking more than 18 million malware and phishing emails concerning coronavirus every week. The email provider also sees over 240 million COVID-19-themed spam messages daily. Although there hasn’t been an increase in phishing scams overall since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, scammers have been tailoring emails to “use both fear and financial incentives to create urgency to try to prompt users to respond”, according to Neil Kumaran, a manager for Gmail Security. In our Gmail review, we were impressed by its high-level security, which makes it the best free email service around. The company’s AI models “have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users.”We’ve been covering the top coronavirus scams to watch out for to help you stay safe from cyber attacks in recent weeks. Google has published four real-life examples of coronavirus phishing emails it’s blocked to help you recognize fraudulent emails. What COVID-19 phishing scams look likePhishing scams can come in many different forms. One of the examples shown by Google is impersonating the World Health Organization, and using this leading coronavirus authority to spread downloadable files which then install backdoors into your computer. Backdoors are spyware, which can steal personal and financial data and install more dangerous malware. Other examples, shown below, take advantage of current working-from-home conditions, or capitalize on government stimulus packages . Image 1 of 4(Image credit: Google)Image 2 of 4This example shows increased phishing attempts of employees operating in a work-from-home setting. (Image credit: Google)Image 3 of 4This example attempts to capitalize on government stimulus packages and imitates government institutions to phish small businesses. (Image credit: Google)Image 4 of 4This attempt targets organizations impacted by stay-at-home orders. (Image credit: Google)Although Gmail blocked all of these examples, there are many more ways for your computer to be attacked by malware. We’ve covered the best antivirus software to help you keep your computer safe from cyberattacks. After all, your computer can’t catch COVID-19, but it’s often susceptible to a host of other viruses. One of the most common attacks made in phishing emails is the theft of personal information. If you are concerned that you are at risk of identity theft, consider our guide to the best identity theft protection services.