Knowledge is power, and when it comes to your credit report, knowledge can help you establish and manage your credit history. Credit is important. It dictates how much you will pay for your next car loan, a home mortgage, and even gig driver car insurance.
Yes, according to Insurance.com, a low credit score can affect what you pay for rideshare car insurance. Studies indicate a driver with bad credit has a greater chance of filing more and bigger claims.
How much higher a rate can you pay? Bad credit can cost you as much as 71% more in gig driver car insurance. That’s a lot.
The good news is, there’s help. Self has developed financial tools that help people struggling with how to build good credit. They also provide credit education. Remember, knowledge is power, and what you don’t know about credit reports can cost you a lot of money and affect your gig-driving career.
This Gridwise blog post will cover
- The confounding world of credit.
- How does Self help people with their credit?
- Self has multiple seals of approval.
- This new partnership between Gridwise and Self offers benefits to gig drivers.
The confounding world of credit
Credit is important for rideshare and delivery driver expenses. Their car is their primary business tool. It is important to have a reliable model that looks nice. There are other reasons, too. At the top is the sheer size of the investment in a car. Aside from buying a house, a car is often the largest purchase you will ever make. Cars are a big part of gig driver finance, and your credit score will often dictate what kind of car you can buy.
Here are some other things to know.
Different companies provide different reports on your credit
Most of us are familiar with the three major credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These companies compile credit reports which are then used by companies like FICO(R) to determine an individual’s FICO credit score. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, the firm that developed the method of computing a person’s credit score. Your FICO Score, along with a number of other factors, can govern what interest rate you will pay on a loan.
Each one of the credit reporting companies uses slightly different methods of compiling information, and they may arrive at slightly different answers. The traditional credit score models from FICO and Vantagescore ® range from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the better you are as a credit risk, and the more likely you may get a lower interest rate and corresponding lower payments.
Finance entities don’t all report the same thing to the same credit agency
You have a car loan that reports to all three credit agencies but a department store credit card that only reports to one. This inconsistency can skew your credit report, driving it up or down, and is one reason agencies report differently.
Depending on what you are financing, the lender might use a different credit score
Banks and car dealerships use a different source for your FICO score, often called a FICO Auto Score. These scores come from the same three companies, but they base the score on a different set of considerations.
Suppose someone has a mortgage or rent payment, a car loan, and a credit card payment. How will they prioritize those loans or payments if they have financial difficulty? The mortgage or rent payment usually comes first because somewhere to live is critical. The car payment comes next since getting to work and other places is also essential. Credit cards and other loans follow and are more likely to get missed.
But people are different, and they manage their money differently. Your base FICO Score predicts how likely you are to pay a credit obligation late within the next 24 months. A FICO Auto Score looks at your credit history and asks, How likely is this person to miss a car payment based on their credit history? This gives you a slightly different score.
Making it even more confusing, banks and car dealerships use different versions to compute their FICO Auto Score. A Self blog post compares it to the “many versions of smartphone software, and how some users will update their operating systems while others continue to use older options.”
The VantageScore is a newer system of scoring auto loan recipients, but even it has newer and older versions. The newer VantageScore system scores similar to the industry standard of 300 to 850, while the older VantageScore System uses a scoring range of 501 to 990. Both may still be used by car dealerships. You can imagine the confusion.
A good credit score can save you lots of money
Imagine that you are in the market for a good used car for rideshare and other gig driving activities. You’ve had some back luck, and your credit score is 575, making you a subprime credit prospect, which is not good. On a used car purchase, according to CarsDirect.com, you could be stuck with an interest rate of 17.29% and more than $5,000 in additional finance costs, depending on the amount financed.
Your FICO Score affects other things besides what interest rate you pay
We’ve already talked about how good credit can help gig drivers in their quest on how to lower car insurance payments, but Investopedia reports that bad credit can also affect your ability to rent a home or apartment. Utilities may require you to pay a deposit, and bad credit can affect your ability to qualify for certain jobs.
Incidentally, and not surprisingly, another version of the FICO score is used to evaluate someone for a home mortgage.
How does Self help people with credit?
Self helps individuals build and maintain credit in several ways.
Remember, information is power. The Self website, especially the blog, contains helpful information. The Self Personal Finance Blog answers questions about credit, how to build and maintain it, and other topics, including how to deal with money when you realize a significant other has a different perspective on the subject.
Build credit. Self Credit Builder Accounts* help you learn how to manage money and how to build credit.
Build more credit. You can qualify for a secured Self Visa® Credit Card1. Self reports to all three credit reporting agencies, helping you build a consistent credit history.
Build credit using non-traditional sources. Self can help you use payment histories from rent, utilities, and even cell phone bills to help build credit—sources not traditionally considered in your credit history.
Self has multiple seals of approval
There are firms that market credit repair and other credit solutions. Many charge a lot for very few services.
Self is different. The firm has attracted venture capital and other funding from discerning sources such as Altos Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, Conductive Ventures, Silverton Partners, Kickstart Seed Fund, Techstars, and Galvanize Ventures, now known as Upslope.
This past August, Self was named one of the 25 Austin-based startups to watch in 2022 by SiliconHillsNews.com, a technology website reporting on tech news in the Texas communities of Austin and San Antonio. USA Today featured Self in a recent article. The list goes on …
Gridwise knows that lowering expenses is crucial for gig drivers – that’s why we recommend Self! Self may help you lower your auto insurance payment by building your credit. Not sure if Self is meant for you? Self has helped over 2 million people from all careers and backgrounds. They’re built for everyone, including gig drivers.
So, ready to start building your credit?
*All Credit Builder Accounts made by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or SouthState Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Subject to ID Verification. Individual borrowers must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security Number are required. All loans are subject to consumer report review and approval. All Certificates of Deposit (CD) are deposited in Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC or SouthState Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.
1The Self Visa® Credit Card is issued by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or SouthState Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Individual results will vary. Visit self.inc for more details. Card eligibility requirements include having an active Credit Builder Account in good standing, making 3 on time payments and having $100 or more in savings progress. All requirements are subject to change.