You’ve spent years building up good credit, doing all the right things, only to see your scores drop once you’re in retirement. It sounds crazy, but the scenario is more common that you think, and it is often through no fault of the retiree.
Employment isn’t one of the six credit score factors, so the act of retiring in itself doesn’t directly impact your score since. However, if your annual income decreases in retirement, this could affect your borrowing power – and this can work against your credit score. A recent Wall Street Journal podcast noted that retirees are less likely to do things that use credit, like having an auto loan or taking out or paying down a mortgage. Closing too many old credit accounts at once, a frequent move by retirees looking to simplify their finances, can also cause your score to go down.
But don’t fret: just as when you were in your working years, it’s all about the work you put into your credit score day-to-day that matters.
To maintain a good score or improve it, you should be sure to pay bills on time, keep an eye on your spending, and avoid excessive credit balances by only utilizing around 30% or less of your available credit. And make sure to stay vigilant by monitoring your credit report and accounts. Identity theft is always a concern, especially among seniors, and can impact your score dramatically. We recommend reviewing your credit reports at least on an annual basis to uncover any changes – expected or otherwise. You can do this by requesting your free annual report from the three reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).
By staying aware of the triggers that can cause your credit score to drop, you can minimize negative impacts to your life and financial plans in retirement. Be sure to contact your RMB advisor with any questions about your personal finances and retirement.
The opinions and analyses expressed in this presentation are based on RMB Capital Management, LLC’s research and professional experience, and are expressed as of the date noted. Certain information expressed represents an assessment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast or guarantee of future results, nor is it intended to speak to any future time periods. This is intended for informational purposes only and not a recommendation to buy or sell any specific securities. RMB Capital makes no warranty or representation, express or implied, nor does RMB Capital accept any liability, with respect to the information and data set forth herein, and RMB Capital specifically disclaims any duty to update any of the information and data contained in this presentation. The information and data in this presentation does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment or other professional advice.