In a casual conversation, a friend of mine mentioned she didn’t know how hard it was to get financing for a mattress. I had never given thought to the complexities of furniture financing — it’s not as if buying a bed is as monumental as buying a car or a house.
But when it comes to credit, there are planning steps that apply no matter the purchase.
When my friend and her fiancé went to buy the mattress, she knew she would need to finance it, and the salesperson took her through the process. She never expected to be declined for the credit line.
“He then said we were denied and told us that you almost have to have perfect credit to finance a mattress, since they cannot be repossessed — which would have been nice to know before he checked my credit,” she said.
She left the store (a national chain) understandably frustrated, with an inquiry on her credit report and no mattress.
Good Credit Matters
Experiences like this magnify the importance of credit diligence. Being a good consumer requires a lot of research into potential purchases, like measuring quality, affordability and how a product suits your needs.
For instance, you’ve picked the perfect the mattress (school, camper, house, car, carpet, etc.), and you know financing will make the purchase possible. As such, you’ve adjusted your budget to include the payments, so it would seem you’re all set.
But if you haven’t looked into the qualifying standards for that credit, the rest of the research won’t matter. Odd as it may seem, you shouldn’t go furniture shopping without knowing your credit history if you plan to finance your purchase.
If you’re looking to pay for furniture in installments, reach out to the retailer or lender before you initiate a transaction, and ask about their requirements. If buyers need to have a certain credit score, you’ll want to know that in advance and see if you meet the standards.
The Credit Report Card allows consumers to see their credit score, updated every 30 days, for free. And while seeing that score may dash your hopes of buying new furniture, the Report Card will show you how to improve your credit score and potentially qualify for future purchases. Financing isn’t the only way to make purchase like this, either. If you can’t cover the cost upfront, taking out a personal loan or putting the purchase on a low-interest credit card are affordable payment options, as well.
Credit report inquiries can dock your credit score a few points, so you never want to apply for something you can’t get. With personal finance, more knowledge and planning leads to better decisions and, ultimately, a stronger financial future.