Does Your Savings Account Balance Affect Your Credit Score?

by Michael Keenan
The size of your savings account won't affect your credit score.

Your credit score is designed to predict how likely you are to default on a new loan based on your prior use of credit; no other extraneous factors are considered. No matter how much money you have stashed away in a savings account, it won't directly affect your credit score.

Debt History Only

Only your past dealings with debt, not your assets, shows up on your credit report, and only information on your credit report affects your credit score. Your credit report contains four categories of information: your identification, which doesn't affect your score; your trade lines, which include credit cards and loans; public records, such as judgments and bankruptcies; and inquiries, which show who checked your credit score. Information about your assets, such as your savings account balance, doesn't show up on your credit report and isn't counted in your score.

Lenders Consider Assets

Lenders recognize that your credit score is just one part -- albeit an important one -- of your overall financial picture. When you apply for a loan, like a car loan or mortgage, there's nothing stopping a lender from asking about information that isn't on your credit report, such as your total assets or your income. If you have a substantial savings account, lenders view you as a less risky borrower because an emergency expense or two could come up and you'd still be able to make your loan payments.

Emergency Fund Benefits

Besides looking good for lenders, a sizable emergency fund can protect your credit score if a financial emergency arises. Without an emergency fund, a large unexpected expense or a job loss could cause you to fall behind on your bills, which will show up on your credit report and hurt your credit score. If you have an emergency fund, you can weather the financial storms of life and still stay current on all your accounts, thereby protecting your good credit.

Negative Accounts

The only time your savings account balance could affect your credit score is if you're in the red. If you overdraft your savings account, the bank usually doesn't go straight to the credit bureaus. However, if you don't pay back the overdraft and the bank turns the debt over to a collections agency, the collections account can show up on your credit report and hurt your score.

About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."

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