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5 Reasons Your Credit Score Matters During Retirement

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 5:52 PM
From US News & World Report via Yahoo Finance:
Thoughts of retirement conjure up many things, perhaps including exotic travel, long walks and even a second career. Retirement is the prize after years of work. What probably doesn't come to mind when you think of retirement is your credit score.

You may think that you can just stop monitoring your credit score once you retire, but this may not be true. While you're (hopefully) not racking up more debt during retirement, here are five reasons you should still put effort into ensuring that your credit history stays clean and your credit score stays high:

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pearlbrownpearlbrown1,468 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,377
1. Monday, June 3, 2013 - 9:10 PM
For one, I think that I am done with refinancing (now 2.625% for ten years).  Retirees should not have to pay mortgage any more.
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
2. Monday, June 3, 2013 - 9:25 PM
Which "credit score"? One never knows which one is being used. I believe the credit reporting agencies are all in cahoots with the lenders anyway so I don't really care about "scores" any longer. "Money talks, BS walks".
ShorebreakShorebreak2,674 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,505
3. Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 8:21 PM
Shorebreak, the article is referring to one's credit score generically, not specifically referring to one's FICO score, or credit score as measured by Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, etc. 

Personally, I am not refinancing a mortgage (article point #1) nor do I plan to.  I am quite satisfied with my rewards credit cards (point #2).  According to my insurance company, the very best rates (point #3) go only to the people with the top 2% of credit scores, and the net difference is marginal anyway, but I comparison shop anyway.  Finally my "second act" does not require capital investment (point #5).

For me, the most important take-away from the article was the reminder in point #4 to continue to monitor one's credit report for suspicious activity.
4. Helping you spot identity theft.  This is less about your credit score than your credit report, but it still applies. Retirees who think their credit scores don't matter at all may completely put them out of mind and stop monitoring their credit history. 

Unfortunately, senior adults are prime suspects for identity theft, and those who don't regularly check their credit reports run the risk of not knowing when they're victimized. Even if you don't plan on ever using credit again, you should check your credit report every few months to look for suspicious activity or mistakes.

In or out of retirement, regardless of how one feelsl about credit bureaus and lenders, it is prudent to keep an eye on one's credit report. 
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,468 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,377