You worked hard to save for a down payment and get your credit score to a place where you were able to qualify for a mortgage. Now that you’re in your home, you can relax a little, right? Who cares if your credit score drops; you’re a homeowner!
Not exactly. While you may have met the goal of homeownership, your credit remains vitally important. Keeping your scores up can benefit you in a number of ways. Here are 7 reasons you should keep your credit good even after you’ve bought a house.
To furnish your home
Now that you’ve got that new home, it’s time to furnish it. If you qualified for a mortgage, there’s a good chance you’ll also be a good candidate for new store cards. This can be an easy way to spread a large expense over a period of time, but, beware the pitfalls.
“Store cards or store 0 percent financing deals can enable you to make big-ticket purchases such as furniture, appliances and outdoor fixtures with no interest for several months,” said CreditCards.com. “However, many 0 percent deals charge interest on the original purchase amount—often 20 percent or more—if you don’t pay the entire balance by the end of the promotional period.
Todd Christensen, director of education at Debt Reduction Services, told them: “A lot of people will just make the minimum payment without thinking, and at the end of 18 months there’s still a $3,000 balance. If they don’t pay it all off, here comes 25 percent interest back-dated to day one.”
To save money
The best cards are typically reserved for those with the best credit. If you let your credit dip and you want a new credit card, you still might be able to get one—but you’re not going to get the best rates. You may also be limited to cards that have a hefty annual fee, which will cost you more money.
For the miles
Cards that offer miles, cash back, or some other perk aren’t offered to just anyone. If you keep your credit score high enough to snag one, you’ll love being able to rack up miles to use for travel or apply a cash back bonus to everyday expenses to keep costs down.
For a job
Many employers run your credit as part of the hiring process. Let your credit drop and it could keep you from getting a new job.
To take advantage of falling rates
You never know what’s going to happen to interest rates. Maintain your good credit and you may be able to refinance if rates drop.
To stay in your home
Defaulting on credit cards won’t affect your ability to stay in your home, but if your credit problems extend to your ability to pay your mortgage, you could be looking at foreclosure.
To buy another home
If you’ve already bought a home, you know that, in order to get the best loan and interest rate, you need to have a good credit score. You can qualify for some loans with a lower score, but it’ll cost you. “According to FICO, a homebuyer with a credit score of 760 or higher could pay nearly $2,500 less per year on a $210,000, 30-year home loan than someone with a score of 620,” said CreditCards.com.