Study: credit score an indicator of personal health, not just financial

Credit Scores Revealed ImageA new study entitled “Credit scores, cardiovascular disease risk, and human capital” was released in the December issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, in which researchers studied more than 1000 people for almost 40 years to determine if heart health and personal finances could be correlated. Employers often use credit reports to assess the risk of hiring a new employee; landlords and insurance companies often do the same, to provide an assessment of an individual’s value as a tenant or insured. While risk factors, education, and abilities and skills were taken into account during the study, researchers concluded that low credit scores can be negatively linked to heart health, while high credit scores are indicative of “better job performance, safer driving and better health.” “What it comes down to is that people who don’t take care of their money don’t take care of their health,” said Terrie Moffitt, the leader of the study. The goal of the study was to determine what correlation, if any, there was between heart health and credit scores, and to help make people aware that they must make lifestyle changes to help improve both their personal and financial health. Of course, one-time negative credit events and health problems are also linked; major illnesses can cause a lower credit score due to an increase in medical bills, stress due to unemployment can lead to illness, and unexpected life events can also cause financial or physical distress. The study found that a person’s “heart age” increases by 13 months every time his or her credit score drops 100 points.]]>

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