Impatient? It May Be Hurting Your Credit Score

The New York Times:

Remember when you were a kid and your parents harped on the importance of “delayed gratification” to get ahead in life? (You know: Put that birthday money in the piggy bank and save for something nice, instead of blowing it all now on Milky Way bars.)

Well, it turns out that your propensity to wait (or not) is also reflected in your credit score, according to a study from researchers at Columbia and Stanford published online in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (Here’s a link to the press release, though the journal itself is behind a pay wall.)

Patient people, the study found, tend to have higher credit scores than those who just can’t wait. “Individuals who are more willing to delay gratification have significantly higher FICO scores,” the report concluded.

In the study, researchers recruited 437 low- to moderate-income people from a Boston community tax-preparation center. Participants consented to give researchers access to their credit reports and FICO scores ( a number from 300 to 850 based on credit history). Participants were given a series of questions meant to gauge their willingness to delay a reward. For instance, they were asked if they would rather have $70 now, or $80 in a month.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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