Having bad credit can make life pretty challenging — and expensive. Whether you’re applying for loans, credit cards, jobs, or apartments, your credit score matters a lot. That’s why our killer new tool, Credit Builder by Brigit, has you covered.
We know you have dreams that can be achieved with a good credit score. Take it from one of our Brigit members, Andrew from California, who said, “Credit Builder is helping me heal my credit so I can buy my dream house one day.”
Your credit score ranges from 300-850 — and the higher the number, the better your score is. Having a “good” credit score, that is, one above 670, can save you money, but having a “poor” credit score, anything below 580, can be very expensive.
1. Housing costs
Getting a mortgage on a house can be very expensive if you have a credit score below 700. You likely won’t even qualify for a mortgage loan if you have a score below 620. And if you do qualify, the annual percentage rate (APR), or interest rate, on a mortgage loan can change by more than 1.5 percent based on your credit score. That might not seem like a lot, but it can make a huge difference as you pay the loan off over time.
2. Car loans
Need a new car? Auto loans become much more expensive when you have bad credit. Let’s compare car loan rates for a credit score of 720 or higher to rates for a credit score of below 590.
3. Access to credit cards
Having bad credit or no credit history, as immigrants or the unbanked are more likely to have, can make getting a credit card very difficult. If you have a credit score that’s below 580, most credit card companies won’t issue you a card, which means that a secured credit card may be your only option.
A secured credit card is different from a regular credit card because you have to pay a security deposit upfront, which is usually equal to your credit limit. A regular credit card doesn’t require a deposit upfront and doesn’t set your credit limit equal to a deposit. For a secured card, the upfront deposits typically start at $200. Secured cards can also charge annual fees and high interest rates of 17-25 percent, making them an expensive choice.
Having bad credit prevents you from getting the benefits of an (unsecured) credit card, such as sign-up bonuses, rewards, cash back, and no up-front deposits. Plus, on a secured card you can only spend around $200 at a time.
These are just a few ways in which your credit score can impact your life and your financial opportunities. Having bad credit is expensive — a lot more expensive than having good credit. So what can you do to build your credit score and get access to better, cheaper loans and opportunities?
Brigit has the answer with Credit Builder, where you can sit back and let us do the hard work on your credit score. We don’t charge any upfront deposits, administrative fees, or interest. Plus, we provide free additional tools to help you budget, get instant cash, prevent overdrafts, and protect your identity and credit score.
You have the power to change your credit story for as little as $1 a month with Credit Builder — sign up here today.