Many seniors whose mortgages are paid off, are retired and don’t expect to borrow money at this phase of their life assume their credit score no longer matters.
“However, this is simply not true, and good credit can be a key factor in how you live out the rest of your days,” said RE/MAX Sun Properties Realtor Erica West. “Surprisingly, scores decline for many of the over-65 crowd because they no longer use their credit cards. They pay cash for everything. But here is the problem: Credit scores are affected by your credit history, which shows if you pay your bills on time. Without a credit history, you are unscorable and invisible.”
West, a Certified Senior Real Estate Professional, lists the following three reasons why it is important to have a good credit score even after retirement:
No. 1: Downsizing - “If you want to downsize and plan to pay cash for your smaller home you will need a good credit score. If you want a new car you will need a good credit score,” said West, who provides specialized service for seniors who are downsizing and for their families who are trying to help them. “Insurers will look at your credit score to set your auto and homeowner’s policy premiums.”
No. 2: Relocate and rent - “If you plan to move closer to your children post-retirement and rent an apartment or home, landlords and utility companies will look at your credit to determine if you pay bills on time,” said West.
No. 3: The unexpected happens - “Regardless of your current health condition, a sudden development can overturn the best-laid financial plans. If the specialized care that may be needed is not covered by insurance, you may need to acquire a line of credit to cover unexpected expenses,” said West. “Assisted care communities and skilled nursing homes do not accept Medicare; they require private payments and approved credit.”
About Erica West, RE/MAX Sun Properties
Erica West has been a residential real estate agent since 1984 following an eighteen-year career as an educator. Migrating from Massachusetts to Arizona, Erica, her husband and two sons settled in Fountain Hills, where she rode a path to success becoming one of the top 100 RE/MAX real estate agents nationally. Erica’s approach to her clients is influenced by her background in education. For more information, please visit ericawesthomes.com, email Erica(at)ericawesthomes(dot)com or call (480) 650-7002. Her office is located at 16704 East Avenue of the Fountains, Suite 101, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
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