8 Important Reasons Your Credit Score Matters (Even After Retirement)

Even after you’ve retired, it’s important to keep tabs on your credit score.
Updated May 8, 2024
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You might think that once you leave the workforce, you no longer have to worry about the same financial issues that kept you up at night. You may reason that your financial life is set now that you’re done building wealth.

But once you’ve retired, you can't forget about finances, including whether or not you have good credit.

Keep reading to learn eight reasons why you should keep an eye on your credit score throughout your retirement.

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You want to secure a low mortgage rate

David/Adobe money coins saving

Whether you want to refinance your current home, apply for a home equity loan, or move across the country to retire closer to your grandkids, you need a good credit score to get the best mortgage rate.

And with mortgage rates high, it’s more important than ever to secure the lowest possible rate. Current rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage are as high as 7.9%, which could come as quite a financial shock if you haven’t purchased a new home in a decade or so.

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You need a good credit score to take out a loan

Monkey Business/Adobe financial advisor talking to couple

Home loans aren’t the only type of loan you might consider in retirement. Having a high credit score will help you secure better terms and lower rates on just about any loan, from a HELOC to a car loan to a personal loan from your local credit union.

You might need to finance some of your medical expenses

Tinashe Njaku/peopleimages.com/Adobe senior woman consulting doctor using tablet

The older you get, the likelier you are to spend money on medical expenses. In fact, although individuals aged 55 or older account for 31% of the U.S. population, they’re responsible for more than 50% of the total health care expenditures in the U.S.

Since health care can eat up a large portion of your income, you might need a loan to cover certain expenses. In that case, you’ll need a good credit score to secure a loan with solid terms and a low interest rate.

Even if you’re feeling physically and financially healthy at this point in retirement, medical emergencies can strike at any time. It’s smart to keep your credit score high just in case you do need a loan to cover medical costs.

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Your credit history can impact your insurance costs

thodonal/Adobe concept of insurance

While insurance companies don’t check your credit score to determine your premium, they can look at your credit history to calculate your “insurance score.” 

If you have a history of paying bills on time and generally managing your finances well — two things that boost your credit score — you’ll have a better insurance score as well.

While this score isn’t the only factor determining how much you’ll pay for homeowners and automobile insurance, it may help you score a lower premium.

You might need good credit to qualify for some part-time jobs

Mediteraneo/Adobe elderly woman in a flower shop

Looking for a part-time job to boost your retirement income? If you’re applying for a job working with money — for instance, at a casino — your would-be employer will check your credit report as part of the hiring process. 

Employers don't look at your credit score. However, if you have a lot of debt or unpaid bills, you may be locked out of certain job opportunities, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re searching for side gigs.

Your good credit qualifies you for better credit card deals

InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe senior man sitting on sofa with laptop and using credit card

If you want to keep earning credit card rewards in retirement, it’s smart to keep your credit score high. The better your credit score, the better interest rates you qualify for.

Some travel credit cards with great benefits require a high credit score to qualify. Top-notch credit cards may be available only to individuals with the best credit.

You need a good credit score to rent wherever you want to

olga_demina/Adobe senior couple on a porch

Are you considering renting a condo or house in a warm-weather area for the winter? Or maybe you want to rent a summer beach house? If you want a seasonal rental, you need a good credit score.

Landlords nearly always check credit scores, and the better yours is, the better the odds that they’ll rent to you.

Check your credit frequently to avoid identity theft

blas/Adobe identity theft

No matter your age, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on your credit report and score.

Checking your credit report regularly is important because it can help you identify identity theft. Fraudsters may open credit cards or other lines of credit in your name, ruining your credit score and causing huge problems the next time you need credit.

You can get one free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. 

You should do this to ensure no one has opened an account in your name and to check the accuracy of your information.

Most credit card companies offer cardholders their credit score for free. If you notice a sudden, unexplained drop in your credit score, you can take steps to protect your identity right away.

Bottom line

pikselstock/Adobe mature couple using a laptop

Having a good credit score is just as important during your post-work years as it was when you accepted your first job. And it’s never too late to boost your credit score by paying down your debt.

While you’re enjoying your well-earned retirement, make sure to monitor your credit throughout the year. Your future finances will be glad you did.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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