Credit scores are very much in the news these days, and are being used for more than just home purchases. Your credit score is probably not an issue of concern, but if you have grown children that are in the accumulation phase, it might be worthwhile to understand something more about this relatively new phenomenon.
Your credit score is simply a statistical estimation of how likely you are to pay your debts and, by extension, how much credit you should have. Everyone is different, and everyone has a different history, different experiences, but the credit score attempts to categorize a person’s ability to handle a loan. This categorization comes from information that is collected about your payment history by credit bureaus. Often it is difficult to talk with grown children about their spending practices, but a little prevention can save a lot of misery in the area of credit protection. Here is a simple quiz that you can share with your adult children, to spot potential trouble:
- Have you used one credit card to pay off another?
- Have you used credit card advances to pay bills?
- Do you regularly use a charge card because you are short on cash?
- Do you charge items you might not buy if you were paying cash?
- Do you need to use your credit cards to buy groceries?
- Are you reluctant to open monthly statements from creditors?
- Do you regularly charge more each month than you pay off?
- Do you write checks today on funds to be deposited tomorrow?
- Do you apply for new credit cards so you can increase borrowing?
- Are you receiving late and over limit credit card charges?
If the answers to any of these questions are “YES” than it is important to have a serious talk with your kids about credit scores. You might start by sharing this video with them, Your Credit Score.