Do Rich People Have Better Credit Than You?By Caitlin in Credit
In an economic age where credit and loans are harder and harder to get, people are becoming increasingly focused on credit scores. Depending on their use or misuse of credit, people eventually find their credit scores increasing or decreasing, and then credit becomes easier or harder for them to get.
This same fact is true for everyone regardless of their income. If you’re wondering if rich people have better credit than you do, the answer is some do and some don’t. The truth of the matter is that everybody needs to worry about their credit scores no matter how much money they have or what their income is.
Wealthy people are not always credit wise, and even very rich people have terrible credit scores. The bottom line is that your overall income and the amount of money in your savings account aren’t even factored in when calculating your credit score.
What Exactly Does Your Credit Score Represent
Your credit score represents how well you manage your finances. Continual overdue payments and unpaid debts result in lower credit scores. On the other hand, prompt payments and a low debt threshold result in higher credit scores. Surprisingly, rich people are not necessarily on top of their monthly payments.
Creditors need to know if you are a good credit risk. They want to know that when they lend you money that they will get it back without a series of late payments, overdue notices, sending it to collections, and ultimately a day in court. They don’t want or need the hassle and expense.
For this reason, creditors turn to your credit score to view your credit history to ascertain whether you have a history of repaying your debts promptly, or whether you have a history of falling seriously behind. If you have a history of being late with payments they aren’t likely to extend credit to you regardless of your income.
Other factors in determining your credit score are the amount of money that you currently owe, and how far back your credit history dates. If you have a really short credit history and you are deeply in debt, it’s clearly a huge red flag.
A Word about Debt Utilization
Another factor that your credit score takes into account is your debt usage or debt utilization. Although this might sound like complex financial jargon, it really isn’t, and every consumer who uses credit should understand it. Your debt usage indicates the amount of your available credit that you use.
So if you constantly have your credit cards maxed out, you have a high debt usage. However, you don’t have to max out your cards to damage your credit score. The average consumer should keep the ratio at around 30%, but a lower ratio would be even better. Keeping that ratio around 10% would have a very positive effect on your credit score. However, if it gets any higher than 50% you could lower your credit score by as much as 100 points.
Sometimes Rich People Really are not That Rich
We’ve all heard people say that someone owes their soul to the bank. In the cases of a lot of people who you think are rich, the old catchphrase might be true. Those who you believe are rich might be drowning in insurmountable debt to fund their extravagant lifestyle.
Some of the people who seem wealthy could be living in a rent-to-own mentality as they get themselves deeper and deeper in debt. Their determination to live in the lap of luxury today will catch up with them eventually. If you’ve been responsible with your debt and money management, chances are your credit score is much higher than theirs.
Rich People Make Credit Mistakes
Rich people often make huge credit mistakes. The more mistakes they make the worse their credit score becomes. Some of the credit mistakes that rich people make include:
- Ignoring their Credit Utilization Ratio – Charging a lot to your credit cards could damage your credit even if you pay the balance in full.
- Not Paying Attention – Rich people sometimes don’t pay enough attention to their credit score. Regardless of your finances, you should check your credit report at least twice a year for accuracy, omissions, and fraud.
- Thinking Money Talks – Wealthy people mistakenly think that money is a big talker in the world of loans and finance. A high debt load and a history of overdue payments makes you a poor credit risk despite your income.
Why Rich People Still Use Credit in One Form or Another
Even if you’re rich, you’re probably still using credit in one form or another. Rich people use credit to build their wealth by investing it in investments that can produce more income for them. Some have mortgages on their homes or lines of credit at their disposal. Sometimes they choose to make use of credit cards for various reasons. Some of the reasons rich people might choose to use credit cards include:
- Reward Programs – Credits cards often have great reward programs. A rich person could make purchases and accrue rewards quickly.
- Security – Carrying large amounts of cash around is a security risk. A credit card protects them from having to carry vast amounts of money, and also protects them from identity theft and fraud.
- Traveling – Using credit cards while traveling offers them security and prevents the hassle of currency conversion.
Rich people need loans and credit too, and when they do, it’s important for them to have a good credit score. If you have a poor credit score no amount of wealth will help you get a loan or a line of credit.
The Bottom Line
Rich people don’t necessarily have better credit than you, and in a lot of cases they probably don’t. Income and wealth are not determining factors when it comes to your credit score. It all boils down to how well you manage your money and how you handle your debts. Even very rich people have their credit applications declined.