Most people know having a low credit score costs more than having a high one. However, what few consumers ever learn is just how expensive their low credit score really is. Today…
* We WON’T talk about the fact a low credit score could cost you a good job (because over 50% of employers are now running credit checks on job applicants).
* We WON’T talk about the fact you could end up paying up to 40% more for your auto insurance (because most insurance companies now check credit when quoting premiums).
* We WON’T talk about the fact most utility companies for Electric, Gas, Water or Cable now demand a deposit before services can be turned on because of a low credit score.
* We WON’T talk about the other FIVE ways a low credit score will cost you money and make life more difficult each month.
No… today we’re going to talk about the one way a low credit score will cost you a fortune and why the banks and credit bureaus love your low credit score (if you choose to do nothing about it). This one element of credit if not addressed will cost the average American over $ 100,000. Even worse, it can cost the average mortgage broker or loan officer over $ 100,000… each year. The saddest part of all? The banks and credit bureaus win if you choose to do nothing because its’ your loss and your loss IS their gain. Let us explain… We all know the largest purchase a consumer will make in their lifetime is their home. As a result, the greatest amount of interest ever paid in a consumers’ lifetime will be on the loan, for that home. Again, most consumers know with a low credit score they’re going to pay a higher interest rate on that loan. However, few consumers ever learn the REAL amount that increased interest ends up costing them over the life of the loan. After all, the typical American Consumer now lives in a world where their only focus when financing anything, is all about,
The MONTHLY Payment.
This type of thinking feels good in the short run but becomes expensive in the long run. Let’s look at some factual numbers as to why with the story of Bill and Ted. Bill and Ted both bought homes in the same neighborhood, on the same street and for the same price. Bill had a high credit score and borrowed $ 180,000 to purchase a 4 bedroom 3 bath home. Because of his high credit score he got a 30 year fixed rate loan at 5.5% interest. Here’s what Bills loan looked like:
His loan amount was $ 180,000 His interest rate was 5.5% This gave Bill a monthly payment of $ 1022.02 His payments over 30 years totaled $ 367,927.00 His interest paid over the term totaled $ 187,927.00 (Of his $ 367,927 in total payments… $ 187,927 went to interest). Bill paid for his house twice after interest, but don’t cringe until we’re done talking about Ted.
Ted had a low credit score and borrowed $ 180,000 to purchase a 4 bedroom 3 bath home on the same street as Bill. He got a 30 year fixed loan as well, but because of his low credit score his interest rate was 8.0% instead of Bills 5.5%. Here’s what Teds loan for the same $ 180,000 loan looked like:
Teds loan amount was $ 180,000 His interest rate was 8.0% This gave Ted a monthly payment of $ 1320.78 (about $ 300 more per month than Bills) Teds payments over 30 years totaled $ 475,479.00 Teds interest paid over the term totaled $ 295,479.00 The problem is NOT that Ted paid over $ 295,000 in interest on his loan of $ 180,000. The real issue is that Ted paid $ 108,000 MORE in interest than Bill just because his credit score was lower!
Teds total home loan interest paid = $ 295,479.00 Bills total home loan interest paid = $ 187,927.00 Difference = $ 107,552.00 The harsh reality is that Ted’s credit score cost him $ 107,000… But that’s not the real tragedy of the story… The worst part is Bill and Ted were brothers and both had bad credit at the same time (years before buying their homes). The only difference was Bill took action to fix his credit, while Ted didn’t. Now, ask yourself “Who got Teds’ $ 107,000 in extra interest payments?” ANSWER: The Bank. And that’s why banks love low credit scores. Customers like Ted are far more profitable than customers like his brother Bill. All because a lower credit score means they have to pay a higher interest rate and most people like Ted don’t see the big picture, instead they only focus on…
The MONTHLY Payment they can afford.
Banks love people like Ted because they make millions off them. Will you end up being like Ted and throwing away over $ 100,000 in interest payments on your home? Hopefully not… Now that we’ve covered why banks love low credit scores… let’s talk about why Credit Bureaus love them just as much (if not more). “Why Credit Bureaus Love Low Credit Scores…” If you ask 10 Americans on the street… “How do Credit Bureaus make money?” You will invariable get the same answer all 10 times: “By Selling Credit Reports of Course!” While this answer is true, it’s not… the whole truth. The reality is that Credit Bureaus make the bulk of their money selling personal information, not running credit reports. In the example of Bill and Ted one doesn’t have to be smart to realize that Ted is a more profitable customer to the bank then Bill, because Ted has to pay a higher interest rate due to his credit score. This is because Ted is what’s known as…
“A SUB-PRIME Borrower” Since sub-prime borrowers are more profitable customers because they pay higher interest rates, there is a thriving business for Credit Bureaus to sell lead data to Mortgage Lenders. Remember, Credit bureaus make the BULK of their money NOT by selling credit reports but by selling personal information. And, the only thing more profitable than selling personal information, is when you can sell that same personal information, over and over to, multiple clients. Let us wrap up with just one example…
“TRIGGER Leads” A while back the Credit Bureaus came up with an extremely profitable product to sell to mortgage brokers called “TRIGGER LEADS.” The best way we like to explain a “Trigger Lead” to consumers, is to have them imagine they work at their local Sheriffs office answering the telephone. Then, every time someone calls and gives their name, address and phone number in order to file a police report that their home was just broken into… they then take that information and turn around and sell it as a “Lead” to 20 different “Home Security Companies” so they can contact the recent victim about purchasing a security system for their home. After all, you can’t find a “Hotter Lead” for a home security system than a person whose just had their home robbed within the last 24 hours! Triggers Leads essentially work the same way except they’re sold to mortgage brokers. It works like this: Joe Consumer goes to his local bank or mortgage broker to get pre-qualified to purchase a home. As a result, the lender pulls his credit in the process. The Credit Bureau see that Joe Consumer is shopping for a loan so they then sell his name, address and phone number to other mortgage brokers as a “Trigger Lead” within 24 hours, so they can call him and pitch him a better deal. Sound interesting… It gets better. In some cases the “Trigger Lead” will be sold 20 times in less than 24 hours. Shocked? Don’t be… not until you learn that “Trigger Leads” can cost around $ 5 each (or more depending on the data selects). So let’s break down the numbers real quick. Joe Consumer gets his credit pulled in the process of “pre-qualifying” for a home mortgage. His personal information is then sold for $ 5 as a “Trigger Lead” to up to 20 different mortgage brokers within 24 hours. Simply math tells us that if 20 People Each Pay $ 5 for Joe’s Contact Information that’s $ 100 generated off Joe’s Name! Now imagine how many “Joe’s” are generated each day by the Credit Bureaus? Selling sales leads for loans and credit card offers is BIG business for the Credit Bureaus. How many other businesses have a database of over 200 million names they can make money off selling over and over? Now, imagine WHO is the most profitable “LEAD” they can sell? A person with a HIGH credit score? Or A person with a LOW credit score? The answer is obvious. And, it also becomes obvious why the Credit Bureaus have automated so much of their consumer dispute processes overseas. It’s also the reason why the Credit Bureaus have shown no real incentive to reduce the number of damaging errors in consumer credit reports with enacting stricter data management. In the end “SUB-PRIME Borrowers” are more desperate and more profitable and that’s the reason why the Credit Bureaus love your low credit score.