The impact of misdemeanors on your credit rating

A credit score is used by many financial lenders to determine if a person requesting a loan has a strong history of paying back debt. Being able to qualify for a loan can start a person off on the road to owning a house. However, some South Carolina residents may wonder if being convicted of a misdemeanor can directly harm their credit score and cause them to miss out on that crucial home mortgage.

The answer to this dilemma starts with understanding whether a credit report will record your misdemeanor on it. Pocketsense explains that your credit report does not list your criminal record, so there is no place where your misdemeanor can be recorded. If a financial lender is looking for any past criminal history, it will not be found on your credit report. So a misdemeanor in it of itself will not cause your credit score to go down.

However, this does not mean that the process of fighting a misdemeanor charge will not do damage to your credit score. If you do not have enough money in your bank account to hire an attorney, you might opt to pay for legal services with your credit card, which according to CreditCards.com, can plummet your credit score if you utilize too much of your available credit.

Additionally, you may incur other legal costs that can boost your debt, including:

  • bail fees
  • fines stemming from judgments
  • fees for community service programs
  • fees for rehabilitation programs

And if fines and court judgments exceed your ability to pay them, they could end up reported to a collection agency, and a collection report does end up on your credit report, which in turn can damage your credit score. A collection report also does not go away quickly, as it remains on a person’s credit report for seven years.

Basically, a misdemeanor will not directly impact an individual’s credit score, but the consequences resulting from a misdemeanor charge can drain a person’s finances and cause that person to rack up debt. A misdemeanor can even make it more challenging to find a job to pay off misdemeanor related debts, although fortunately, it is not impossible to convince an employer to hire you if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor.

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