Q: I recently attended a Driver’s Ed course, and the instructor mentioned that your driving records could affect your credit. Is this true, and if so, how much does it affect it?
A: It is true that your driving record can affect your credit scores. Usually it happens when you do not pay your tickets or other driving-related penalties.
For example, let’s say that you receive a citation for one of those photo tickets in another state and you choose not to pay it. After a period of time, the state will turn it over to a collection agency, who will then try to collect the debt from you. The agency adds a late fee, plus interest, and slaps a $100 collection fee onto your credit report. If your Fico scores were a 780, they could drop down 100 points to a 680.
Because scores decrease differently depending on what score you begin with before a derogatory is applied, it is hard to say exactly how much your score will be affected by the derogatory without knowing exactly what your current credit and scores look like. If you have a 620 Fico score, the drop will be less, since you are already a higher-risk-borrower with low credit scores. A 780 credit score is excellent, which is why it has to drop so much lower once a delinquency is reported. Studies show that consumers with even one new late payment pose a much higher risk of defaulting, and therefore the score must drop to reflect this.
There are cases where judgments are placed on credit for tickets or other penalties associated with driving. When a collection agency has no success collecting, the debt will eventually go to judgment and be updated on your credit in the public record section. These judgments will have a great effect on credit scores as well. If you would like us to review your credit and give you some feedback, feel free to send us a current copy of your report and scores. You can buy them at http://www.myfico.com. Our contact info is on our website, where you can learn more about credit and our company http://www.northshoreadvisory.com.