Credit scores can also play a huge role in your financial and personal life.
After all, a high credit score can help you snag the lowest interest rates on everything from mortgages to auto loans, saving you thousands of dollars over the life of these loans.
Good credit can also help you rent an apartment, get financing for a new business, or get approved for that new rewards credit card you’ve been considering.
Despite the importance of credit in today’s society, there’s so much about credit scores that most people never discover.
Here are three things no one ever told you about your credit scores.
You have dozens or even hundreds of credit scores.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of FICO scores, ranging from 300 to 850 points. But did you know there are currently more than two dozen versions of FICO scores alone?
Additionally, there’s another popular credit score, the VantageScore, which was developed by the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Furthermore, the credit bureaus each have their own credit scores, as do other financial services entities. In fact, many lenders and insurance companies create their own proprietary credit scoring models.
For example, in most states in the U.S., auto insurers can develop their own credit scores and use credit scores to set car insurance rates. (Some states, like California, ban insurers from using credit scores in determining car insurance premiums).
In the mortgage market, the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently approved the latest FICO and VantageScores – FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 – for use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in home lending.
All these various credit-scoring models help explain why you can have differing credit scores.
One late payment can drop your credit score by 50 to 100 points.
You probably already know that paying your bills on time can boost your credit score. But did you realize that a single 30-day late payment can do serious damage to your credit score, dropping it by 50 to 100 points?
Indeed, FICO officials say that the higher your credit, the more harm you’ll inflict if you have a late payment reported on your credit files.
In other words, people with very high credit scores, say 750 or higher, have further to fall and thus will lose more points if they have a credit mistake than someone with a so-so credit score of just 650 who misses a payment.
Couples with higher credit scores are more likely to stay married.
The following factoid may or may not come as a surprise. But according to research from Federal Reserve Board economists, couples with high credit scores are statistically more likely to stay married than those with poor credit ratings.
Specifically, Fed economists say couples with credit scores averaging 450 or lower are more than twice as likely to divorce within four years as couples with scores averaging 750 or higher.
Couples with excellent credit ratings are also more likely to stay hitched than couples where one person has great credit, and the other individual has bad credit, Fed experts found.
Bottom line: your credit has widespread implications, so manage it wisely!