Whenever I was in basic training, each recruit, each private was assigned their own roster number. That roster number was our identifier. We had to put it on all our gear. I had to have it strapped across a tape on my Kevlar, which is our helmet. It dictated as far as when we would eat chow and what order we would fall in. It also would designate when we would draw our weapon from the arms room when we had to go to the different ranges. Our roster number was our second name. First name was Private, and the second name was our roster number. Every time you heard your roster number yelled by a drill sergeant or a captain, you always knew either you were called to do something, or you got caught doing something you shouldn’t have been doing.
When it comes to your financial life, your roster number is your credit score. A lot of people don’t realize how important and how vital your credit score is when it comes to your financial life. Let me give you a few examples. If you have a very weak or poor credit score and you go to apply for a home loan, you may be assessed a higher interest rate than you would had you had a better credit score. Sometimes depending on how bad and how low your credit score is, it could be a half percent, a quarter percent, and if it is really bad it could be almost a full percent, just depending on how bad your credit score really is.
You do have ways to improve your roster number or your credit score in your financial life. See, in basic training, my roster number was it. There was no getting to the front of the line. It was all dictated by last name and what not. With your credit score, you can improve it, whether that is paying down debt, consolidating your debt, getting certain things off your credit report that shouldn’t be on there because you have already taken care of it.
Those are different ways that you can improve your credit score and give you a better roster number for your financial life.
Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner and U.S. combat veteran. He blogs at Good Financial Cents and Soldier of Finance.
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