There are certain things in life that we can count on no matter what happens. Death, taxes and always getting into the slowest line at checkout are givens, but what about your credit report? As technology has improved and access to many sources of information have become easier and inexpensive to obtain, information from these sources are being applied to more situations.
Insurers use your credit score as an aid in the underwriting process. Statistically, credit reports have been a good indicator of an individual’s level of responsibility. A perfect credit score (850), which no one we know has ever witnessed, will gain a person a better insurance rate than someone with a very low score. The company that designed the credit model reports that about one percent of people actually have the perfect score. Most people have a score in the middle-to-low 700s. Generally, people with a FICO score of 760 or better typically receive the same benefits as those with perfect scores.
Experts say those with lofty credit scores share certain characteristics:
• They Have a Long and Impressive Payment History and Squeaky-Clean Record. The majority of your credit score is determined by your payment history.
• They Have a Diverse Set of Accounts. These people have a mix of fixed payment accounts such as mortgages and auto loans, and installment accounts such as credit cards – typically a mortgage loan, auto loan and a few credit cards.
• A Well-Aged Report Yields Better Scores. A long credit history is also on your side as you try to improve your credit score. An advantage to being older is a longer credit history, but it is actually the age of your oldest credit account that influences your score.
• Limited Credit Inquiries. While having a large number of credit inquiries won’t necessarily decrease your score dramatically, it can keep you from achieving elite status (perfect score). Avoid opening a lot of accounts regardless of the great deals offered as an incentive for you to make a purchase at a particular retailer.
We believe that if you follow these simple guidelines, it will help your credit score. In turn, it will help you financially in a number of ways, including getting the best insurance premiums.