10 Signs Your FICO® Score Is Negatively Impacting You

Do you have a bad FICO® Score? How can you even tell? This list of ten red flags will show you what to look for.

1.  You can’t get a credit card.

If you’ve had a credit card application turned down, it could be a sign that you have a bad FICO® Score. 

2.  You have to sign for utilities under someone else’s name

Utility services check your FICO® Score to see whether they want to extend services to you. If you have a bad FICO® Score, they’ll see you as a risk when it comes to paying your bills. Either they’ll demand you put up a security deposit, or they’ll refuse to service you entirely, and you’ll need someone else to sign for the utilities just so they’ll actually do business with you.


3.  You are being hounded by debt collectors


If you’re getting phone calls and letters from debt collectors, it means your FICO® Score has gotten a major hit. That means your creditors wrote you off as a loss and passed your balance to debt collectors instead. That kind of mark on your FICO® Score can significantly impact your ability to get approved for loans and credit cards.


4.  No one will co-sign your loans with you


If your FICO® Score is bad, you’re getting turned down for loans and cards that you’ve applied for on your own. And you need someone to co-sign with you. When you can’t get anyone to co-sign for you, it’s a good sign your FICO® Score is bad – if your own family doesn’t trust in your ability to pay them back, why should a company?

5.  You can’t get employed because of your FICO® Score

Nowadays, businesses all over the country are pulling yourFICO® Score to see if you’d make a good employee, especially if the position is for a financial or executive role. Having a bad FICO® Score can handicap you in the race for jobs.


6.  You can’t rent an apartment

Renting can be risky, so it’s not a surprise that landlords seize any chance they can get to mitigate their risks. It’s becoming common for landlords to check FICO® Scores in order to exclude people they think will not be reliable when it comes to paying their rent. 


7.  You don’t want to check your own FICO® Score


If you find yourself coming up with reasons not to check your own FICO® Score – “I don’t have time”, or “It’s not that important” or “I’ll do it after I’ve done these other things” – then you know, at least subconsciously, that you have a bad FICO® Score.


8.  You have a low FICO® Score

A FICO® Score below 700 is considered sub-prime nowadays. Banks will not give you the best interest rates if your FICO® Score is below that. Or you may not qualify for their loans at all, and you’ll be forced to turn to riskier financial instruments.


9.  Your interest rates keep rising


Credit card issuers often raise interest rates in response to your FICO® Score. If you do things that negatively impact your FICO® Score, like miss a few payments or get an account sent to collections, they may send you an interest rate increase letter.


10.  Your credit cards are getting closed


Maybe one credit card gets closed – that’s not so bad. But if several of your credit cards are shut down, it’s a clear signal that there’s something gone bad with your FICO® Score. 


Featured Image: Thinkstock/Tomwang112

Posted on May 22, 2023