14 Scary Credit Score Stories That Can Happen to Anyone

Your credit does not define you, but it does have a saying in your life. Not only does your credit score help lenders determine whether or not you qualify for a loan but it also determines your credit card limit, your chances of renting or buying a house, receiving insurance, getting a car lease, securing a student loan, or even getting hired. What’s more, according to a recent study, 48 percent of the people interviewed admitted they wouldn’t date someone with bad credit, which means your credit score can also influence your dating life and quite possibly your happiness.

If you find that hard to believe, these scary credit score stories might make you reconsider and approach your whole credit situation with an entirely new set of eyes.

Caught Off Guard by Hidden Debt

Credit score scary stories are an everyday occurrence for Todd Christensen, an accredited financial counselor with nonprofit counseling agency Money Fit in Boise, Idaho. A few weeks ago, he had a meeting with a couple in which one partner lost a state job with significant advantages and took a position with half the income. They came in complaining they had a debt of $28,000 to $30,000. After examining their credit report and bank accounts, credit cards, and store cards, Christensen realized the couple was in an even worse predicament: Their actual debt was double than what they initially thought. “We tend to try to minimize [debt] in our minds,” Christensen says, “because, when you’re in that kind of debt, it would paralyze you if you had to think about it all day long.”

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