According to a recent survey, student loans and credit card bills are not the only debt holding many Americans back. Credit Sesame, a site consumers can use to check their credit score, analyzed more than 5,000 user accounts and found they had significant amounts of debt from medical expenses, utility bills and cell phone charges.
Consumers whose medical debt had gone into collections had an average of three accounts, with a combined total of $3,670 in collections. The average balance for customers who had cell phone bills in collections totaled $887 per account. Customers whose utility bills were in collections owe $368 on average per account, the study concluded.
Not surprisingly, having those bills in collections hurt consumers’ credit scores. The average credit score for someone whose medical debt is in collections is 552. Those who have delinquent cell phone accounts have average scores of 550. And those who have outstanding utility bills have a score of 542.
Lenders see applicants with lower credit scores as riskier than applicants with higher credit scores. They oftentimes make you pay for this risk by charging a higher interest rate. A poor credit score can affect your ability to rent an apartment, as landlords often check an applicant’s credit score before allowing you to sign a lease.
Utility companies may require you pay a deposit before setting up your service. Even certain jobs and employers can discriminate against applicants who have a less than perfect credit report. Certain jobs, particularly those in upper management or the finance industry, require a good credit history. Note: employers check your credit report and not your credit score. They are not necessarily checking for bad credit, but for items that could affect your job performance.
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If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.