Most people know that a bad credit score can make it more difficult to secure a loan or a credit card. However, many people are not aware that a bad credit score can also influence your car insurance premium rate. If you have a poor credit score, you may be paying twice as much for your car insurance than someone with the same driving record and a good credit score.
Your credit history is one of the many factors insurance companies look at when determining if they will insure you and how much you will pay for insurance. Most insurance companies, such as Austin Insurance, also factor in your driving record as well as your history of making insurance claims.
If You Live in These States, Your Credit Score Does Not Matter
Massachusetts, Hawaii and California all have state laws that make it illegal for insurance companies to take into consideration your credit score. That means they cannot deny you insurance or charge you more for insurance just because you have a poor credit score.
Things That Hurt Your Credit Score
There are five primary factors that can negatively influence your credit score. Any and all past due payments will negatively affect your credit score. Having accounts sent to collections will also have a large negative impact on your credit score. It shows that you are not able to pay your bills, and no insurance company wants to risk not getting paid. Having a high level of debt as well as a short credit history can also negatively influence your credit score. Finally, having too many inquiries into your credit will hurt your credit score.
Things That Help Your Credit Score
Luckily, you are in charge of your credit score. You can raise your credit score by keeping all of your accounts in good standing by making all of your payments on time.
Even if you pay off a credit card, do not close the account. Having a longer credit history can raise your credit score as well.
The Big Picture
Luckily, insurance companies look at more than just your credit score. They also take into consideration your driving record as well as your claim history. If you have a great driving record and have not made any recent insurance claims, chances are you will have a lower premium than someone with a poor driving record and claim history.
You can keep your credit score high and your premiums low by paying all of your bills on time and checking your credit score at least once a year to make sure there is no inaccurate information on it.