We all know bad credit doesn’t do anyone any favors, but renowned financial guru Liz Pulliam Weston recently put a dollar amount to the cost of an underachieving credit score. It’s eye opening, as you’ll see.
Weston compared two fictional women. Emily and Karen, two friends who borrowed about the same amount of money over their lifetimes. Here’s the breakdown of that borrowed money:
- $20,000 in private student loans
- $8,000 in average credit card balances
- New vehicles every seven years through age 70 ($25,000 per vehicle)
- First home at age 30; $300,000. Upgrade to $400,00 home at age 40
- $50,000 home-improvement loan
The big difference between Emily and Karen? Emily has a FICO credit score of 750; Karen 650. Emily maintains her score primarily by paying her bills on time, but also not maxing out her credit cards. Karen is a bit lax about paying her bills on time, having had several late payments over the past few years. She’s also a lot closer to maxing out her cards.
The examples that follow are only for illustration purposes as real-life interest rates can go up and down over time.