Why Even Retirees Need Good Credit

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If you’ve made it to retirement, it may be tempting to stop worrying about money so much. After all, you have struggled through decades of a career, bills and family expenses and come out the other side. How refreshing would it be to take a more relaxed attitude towards your finances?

Unfortunately, you will still want to monitor your credit score once you make it to retirement. Even if you plan on spending your retirement kicked back with a drink in hand, credit scores will come in handy in a few different scenarios.

Here are five reasons keeping track of your credit score and credit report is important in retirement.

Insurance Rates

As you get older, certain insurances may raise their rates as your life expectancy and risk of payout increase. Combine that with a decreased retirement income and you may be looking at a hefty change in your budget. Credit scores are one of the factors that insurance companies use to set their pricing. A strong credit score can help you land a better insurance rate to make up for any additional expenses or decreased income.

Monitoring for Identity Theft

Seniors are a likely target for identity theft. Seniors tend to check their credit reports less than younger people, and also are often low-credit risks, making them a prime candidate for identity thieves. By watching your credit report and credit score, you can keep an eye on these issues. Fraudulent charges on your credit report and sudden changes in your credit score are two red flags to watch out for.

Moving

As your needs have changed, you may one day consider moving to a senior community, a different apartment, etc. However, if you sell your home and downsize to an apartment, you may need to pass a credit check before getting approved for your domicile of choice. In these instances, a good credit score is important. Some utility companies even run credit scores to determine if they need to require an upfront deposit.

Loans

As retirement incomes are often lower than working incomes, the time may come in your retirement when you need to take out a loan, refinance your mortgage, get a car loan, or perform some other activity where a lender needs to check your credit. If you’re in this situation, the last thing you want is a lackluster credit score holding you back from approval.

Helping Out Family

If you’re financially stable, it may make sense to cosign for a loan for a child or grandchild if they need help getting approval. This isn’t likely if you have a bad credit score – your word will be no better than that of the person you’re cosigning with.

There are a number of reasons credit scores and credit reports are still important in your retirement years. Don’t neglect your credit just because you no longer have a working income. By continuing to nurture your credit, you will be able to continue to take advantage of opportunities that may otherwise be closed to you as you enjoy your post-career life. Who needs that in their Golden Years?

Posted in Finance
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