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Posted: 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Your Car Says About Your Credit Score

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Could the car you drive be an accurate indicator of your credit score? Better check your wheels against this list to see what you're subliminally broadcasting to the world!

A fellow I know named Wes Moss wrote a book about what makes a happy retiree and what makes somebody unhappy in retirement. The research he cites shows that people who drive BMWs in retirement tend to be the unhappiest of all retirees.

The question is, is there something at base where people who are not as happy as they'd like to be drive BMWs, or is there something about driving BMWs that makes people unhappy in retirement? Who knows?!

You might have good credit if you drive these cars...

In a similar oddball kind of way, here's the weirdest of weird stories courtesy of Experian research that I read about in The Arizona Republic.

The article argues that the car you drive may say something about who you are and how you handle money. Here's a look at the connection between credit scores and cars:

5 cars that attract buyers with the highest credit scores

  1. Subaru Forester
  2. Subaru Outback
  3. Acura MDX
  4. Acura RDX
  5. Lexus RX350


Both of the Subarus price out at the low to mid $20,000s. The Acuras, meanwhile, are entry level luxury cars starting in the $30,000s and up. Not exactly expensive cars. But they all attract buyer who have sky-high credit scores.

So what is it about these 5 cars? They tend to be considered reliable, and none of them are flashy. That means they attract people who want things that are going to work, not things that are going to have a lot of drama during their working lifetime.

You may have bad credit if you drive these cars...

Now that you know what cars are associated with good credit, what wheels signal to the world that you have a low credit score, according to Experian's data?

5 cars that attract buyers with the lowest credit scores

  1. Dodge Avenger
  2. Kia Forte
  3. Chrysler 200
  4. Nissan Versa
  5. Kia Rio

The Dodge Avenger is not exactly a cheap car. Yet the average buyer has a subprime credit score. As the Arizona Republic writer notes in a mean-spirited kind of way, "Avenger drivers, beware: This car might be saying, 'Bankruptcy filer on board.'"

Just know that the car you drive, in many ways, speaks volumes about who you are and what you're about—even right down to your credit score!

If you're struggling with bad credit, there's something you can do about it. Read my primer on how to improve your credit score. Taking control of your credit score can be simple as putting 3 easy steps into practice in your life!

Finally, while we're on the topic of cars, you may want to check out my recent article on cars that hold their resale value the best.

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