Special Credit Considerations for Seniors

There is a reason that seniors often have the best credit scores, according to Experian. By the time people retire or reach senior status, they have likely been focusing on credit scores and building or maintaining good credit for a significant span of time, with often-impressive results.

While some people believe that they can relax their credit concerns once they retire, that is not necessarily the case. You will still want – and need – good credit if you decide to move or make updates to your current home, enter an assisted-living facility, or apply for a new credit card that offers great rewards points and perks.

In addition, solid credit scores will enable you to qualify for the best rates when it comes to mortgages and insurance, and can help if you decide to return to the job market, since employers are increasingly checking on applicants’ credit histories before making an offer.

How to earn extra credit

First of all, make a note on your calendar to check your credit report annually to ensure that you are not a victim or fraud – credit reports can also contain costly errors. AnnualCreditReport.com offers a free report once a year. No matter your age or stage, everyone should remain vigilant, particularly in the wake of recent serious data breaches.

Even a stellar credit report can decline if payment history, the biggest portion of your credit score, suddenly dwindles. It is important to keep your credit record active by using your current credit card(s) to pay for groceries, gas, travel and entertainment. You can earn rewards points, organize your bill paying and continue to bolster your credit score by using your cards.

Finally, continue to pay your bills on time, keep credit card balances low and think twice before opening any new accounts. Good payment history, and the longevity of your accounts, should continue to keep your credit score high.

Even if you are relatively debt-free, your credit score still matters.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.