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Are credit scores irrelevant for someone that pays cash for everything?
Yes
No
Sometimes (explain)

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No. of Recommendations: 3
A good credit score makes it easier to rent, lower insurance rates, and other issues not related to taking out a loan. Travel without a credit card is not impossible, but much easier with one.

Note that I stated "easier", it is possible to all of the items listed without a credit rating. To me, it just isn't worth the effort to live without credit cards. We don't pay interest. Debt is limited to the cleared but unbilled balances on our credit cards.
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how is travel easier with a credit card? Have I been missing something?

I fly/rent cars/hotels [even outside the US] with my VISA debit card and do not have any troubles or maybe I do and I just don't see how much easier it could be with a credit card?

The VISA debit card agreement says I have the exact same protections as a VISA credit card. Is this not true?
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No. of Recommendations: 9
I fly/rent cars/hotels [even outside the US] with my VISA debit card and do not have any troubles or maybe I do and I just don't see how much easier it could be with a credit card?

With a credit card, there will be a pending charge for hotels, car rentals, etc. With a debit card, it is usually a hold on your cash in your account and it can take some time to release it.

I would never use debit card because I'd rather have the use of their money for the billing cycle.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
The VISA debit card agreement says I have the exact same protections as a VISA credit card. Is this not true?

Debit cards are offered the same protections as credit cards only at the pleasure of the issuing bank. Legally, debit cards are regulated by Reg E, while credit cards are regulated by the Fair Credit Billing Act, which is generally more consumer-friendly than Reg E.

AJ
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The VISA debit card agreement says I have the exact same protections as a VISA credit card. Is this not true?

A calcuated marketing speel

As previously noted, this is a promise from the bank and not a legal requirement.

With fraud, while being disputed the funds are already withdrawn from your account.

Local example: Some Lucky's cash registers were compromised. Debit card information including PINs were stolen. Initially, some banks denied fraud claims because PINs were used in the fraudulent transactions. Only after media coverage did the banks relent, and admit that since PINs were also stolen, fradulent transactions could use PINs.

I consider debit cards too dangerous to use. I hadn't gotten around to making my Debit card an ATM only card. Last week I made a mistake and used it. It will be an ATM card only by Monday.
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No. of Recommendations: 7
I fly/rent cars/hotels [even outside the US] with my VISA debit card...

Surprised to hear you haven't had troubles renting cars with a debit card. I've stood in line next to a lot of people who were in the middle of failing to get a car when trying to pay with a debit card.

Enterprise:
Renters who would like to use a debit card for their deposit may need to complete a cash qualification process in order to use a debit card. We are happy to assist you with rental qualifications specific to the renting branch. Please contact the local Enterprise location to determine what is needed when renting with a debit card or cash.

Hertz:
If you made your booking with a debit card, you will need to present the debit card and one or more credit card (depending on the vehicle group) when picking-up the vehicle.

Avis (emphasis theirs):
While a debit or prepaid charge card is an acceptable form of rental prepayment online, they may not be accepted for the credit hold required when you pick up your car.

Alamo:
We are sorry but debit cards may not be used to pay now for a rental. If you wish to pay now you must use a major credit card.

Budget:
At some locations, debit and pre-paid charge cards are not accepted at rental pick-up time, but are accepted for payment at time of car return.
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Sometimes.

There are some employers who run a credit check for candidates (with the candidate's permission). This can show if you may be hiring someone responsible or raise questions if they have a trainwreck credit history.

I assume that positions where someone may be responsible for significant amounts of money may have a requirement for ongoing monitoring.

Hey look what Google found:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/running-credit-checks...
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vkg,

You wrote, I consider debit cards too dangerous to use. I hadn't gotten around to making my Debit card an ATM only card. Last week I made a mistake and used it. It will be an ATM card only by Monday.

I would point out that you are technically taking the debit card fraud risks on even if you only use a debit card as an ATM card. That's because if someone manages to get your account number, they can clone your card ... or just use it online, PIN or no PIN. Having an ATM-only card ensures that only ATMs can access your account, which limits your exposure.

Of course not using the card limits how the card number could be exposed; but even if you never use it there are ways the number could be stolen, unlikely as they might be...

- Joel
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I assume that positions where someone may be responsible for significant amounts of money may have a requirement for ongoing monitoring.

It's not only that. It's also positions, like customer service rep, where the employee would have access to customer information like account numbers, social security numbers, etc. One of the really high fall-out rates for entry level CSR positions is background check failures, which is often due to credit check issues.

AJ
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I fly/rent cars/hotels [even outside the US] with my VISA debit card and do not have any troubles or maybe I do and I just don't see how much easier it could be with a credit card?

Not long ago I was renting a car from Avis, and the woman in front of me wanted to rent a car with her debit card. Avis allows this with a credit check, which the woman failed. So yes, credit scores are important if you want to rent a car with a debit card.

I have to echo what RAD said...why? The car rental/hotel will place a hold on your cash. *Your* cash.
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I have to echo what RAD said...why? The car rental/hotel will place a hold on your cash. *Your* cash.

Sometimes the balance of the holds is a lot more than the final charges would be. I recently stayed in a hotel that was direct billed to a company and they only needed my card for incidentals. I got an alert from the CC company for a $500 charge plus "card not present". I checked and it was the hotel. The front desk told me that the authorization would only be $25 but whoops! it went thru differently. It all got cleared up in the end but if this had been a debit card, I'd be ticked at having $500 unavailable for 2-3 days. Oh, and the gas station always puts thru an authorization for $100 that eventually goes to the actual amount (~$50) in a day or 2.

I use a credit card for renting cars partially for the money hold issue but also because there is additional insurance provided by my card company for a rental. I pay the card off and in the end it really is little different than paying cash except that I see using a CC as lower risk than a debit card.
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I would point out that you are technically taking the debit card fraud risks on even if you only use a debit card as an ATM card

Which is the reason that I need to have the debit card cancelled and an ATM card only issued. My new credit card looks so similar to my debit card that I made a mistake and used the debit card as a credit card.
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Retrograde,

You wrote, I assume that positions where someone may be responsible for significant amounts of money may have a requirement for ongoing monitoring.

Why might a company want to pull a credit report on someone that isn't handling money or finances? Insider information.

My current employer pulled my CR when I accepted my current position 2+ years ago. It was a requirement as part of my background check. I'm a programmer and I don't deal with (other people's) money and I never have. Arguably I'm sometimes aware of sensitive company information though. It's plausible that at some point someone might approach me to cultivate an insider contact. My employer doesn't want me tempted by that. Seeing that I have a good credit history shows that I'm responsible with my money and have no immediate needs that would make me an easy target.

Of course this company is large enough that the niche areas I have knowledge about probably wouldn't have a material impact on the company's bottom line, so its doubtful anyone would care what I know currently with respect to my employer beyond perhaps how it might (marginally) impact reputation. But things I know or hear could potentially have material impact on partners, suppliers and customers - which would be another reason someone might want to turn me for insider information. Also my employer must assume that I might be wanting to climb the corporate ladder or change positions within the company at some point. At that point I might become a potential risk. I'm actually happy doing what I do, so I don't really want to climb that ladder - but they can't know that when I hire on.

BTW, the hardest part for me was proving my work history. I've worked for several small tech companies over the years. The last one I worked for collapsed in 2008, so there was no one for them to contact. Thankfully they only wanted proof for the past 10 years. Any longer could have proven truly difficult.

- Joel
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You wrote, I assume that positions where someone may be responsible for significant amounts of money may have a requirement for ongoing monitoring.

Why might a company want to pull a credit report on someone that isn't handling money or finances? Insider information. ...


Thanks -- very interesting!

I work as an engineer and haven't been a direct money handler in these roles but have had a credit check run every time I accepted a new job. It is a matter of course in our industry. Employers want another data point in confirming someone is reliable.
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I work as an engineer and haven't been a direct money handler in these roles but have had a credit check run every time I accepted a new job. It is a matter of course in our industry. Employers want another data point in confirming someone is reliable.

Unlike some jobs, it doesn't prevent someone from being hired as an engineer. A relative has been hired even after a recent bankruptcy.
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Unlike some jobs, it doesn't prevent someone from being hired as an engineer. A relative has been hired even after a recent bankruptcy.

It depends on the industry and the specific engineering position. I know people who have been declined due to their poor credit history.
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vkg,

You wrote, Unlike some jobs, it doesn't prevent someone from being hired as an engineer. A relative has been hired even after a recent bankruptcy.

A finalized bankruptcy kind of puts an end to much of the financial stress that would create the risk. Of course it opens the question for whether or not the root cause might recur. If you can claim the bankruptcy was fundamentally due to an accident or illness that you had insufficient coverage to deal with, a lot of employers would overlook it - especially if it was an engineering position.

And some employers have a harder time competing for talent. They'll overlook a lot to find talent - especially when talent is scarce. A lot of small employers don't do credit checks at all because it would run off a lot of potential employees.

Just like the rest of the interview process, credit reports are a method of screening out candidates. When you don't have a lot of candidates to choose from, you do less screening. My current employer is large and attracts a lot of talent, which is probably why they pull every new recruit's credit report...

- Joel
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It depends on the industry and the specific engineering position.

Yes. For those in a defense related industry, where they clearances are required, a poor credit history is likely to result in not getting a job.

AJ
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Yes. For those in a defense related industry, where they clearances are required, a poor credit history is likely to result in not getting a job.

AJ


When I was working for a military subcontractor, I was told that a bankruptcy was worse than a felony when applying for a security clearance. Not having either in my past, I can't confirm it was or still is true.
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Yes. For those in a defense related industry, where they clearances are required, a poor credit history is likely to result in not getting a job.


Yes, this is true. My cousin applied for a job at the FBI and they pored over her credit report. They grilled her on a balance she had on a Macy's credit card. Ironically the balance was due to the purchase of interview related outfits and shoes. Her credit was ok but not great. Thankfully no late payments or collections but high balances. She did ultimately get the job, but the credit issue did cause a hiccup.
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30 years ago when we were bidding on the Janitorial Services contract for a bank building, the management pulled our credit. Fortunately it was in good shape and we were awarded the contract.

About 10 years ago we were trying to purchase homeowners insurance and we were denied by one insurer. The reason: A glitch in our credit report. We were flabbergasted and ignorant of the issue. There was a tax lien from California. It proved to be a mistake that we cleared up. Someone else's lien got attached to my SS number.

Yes, a healthy credit report goes far beyond the ability to get credit.

Ticohombre
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