It’s no fun to be fined for parking in the wrong place at the wrong time or getting a speeding ticket. Driving safely is important, which means that these infractions can even affect other things like your car insurance or life insurance rates.
Will parking fines or speeding tickets affect my credit score as well?
Many drivers that have seen the effect of speeding tickets and license points on their car insurance prices will ask this question. Today, learn more about what is and what is not affected by these infractions and what you should do if you are dealing with the repercussions of these issues.
Do Speeding Tickets or Parking Fines Affect My Credit Score?
After receiving a speeding ticket or a parking fine, you will likely start wondering how that infraction is going to affect your life. Most people are aware that these violations can show up on their driving record, but what else is it going to affect?
The biggest concern many have is whether or not these violations will cause your credit score to drop.
Being ticketed is not going to cause your credit score to drop. Credit scores are a reflection of your financial strength and debt risk, not of your driving ability.
However, any unpaid fines (including those owed for tickets or parking violations) can lead to a hit on your credit score. If you don’t pay your dues and the late debt account is sent to collections, this will be reported to credit agencies and affect your credit score.
What about toll fines?
Since the switch to electronic tolling, it’s become all too easy to cruise through a toll booth without paying. While some may do it on purpose, others genuinely mean to jump online and pay it at a later date, but forget.
If you fail to pay for a toll, the bill will be sent to the address your vehicle is registered to. If you have changed your address or otherwise somehow miss this bill and don’t pay, it’s likely to end up on your credit report as an unpaid debt, or collection account.
For the sake of a few dollars, it’s not worth the risk of negatively impacting your credit score, so make sure to always pay your tolls.
Collections & Your Credit Score
Payments that are sent to collections are considered unpaid debt, and this is part of your payment history. Payment history makes up a huge portion of your credit score, so having late or ignored payments is never a good idea. The longer you wait to pay off this debt, the more it is going to affect your score.
Any payment sent to collections can cause between 20 points and 100 points of damage to your credit score. The higher your score is, the more your score will be affected by having a debt sent to collections.
Additionally, any hits to your credit score caused by late payments can take a long time to reverse. You will need to pay every bill on time for months or even years to completely improve your credit score after this type of incident. Avoid late payments and bills going to collections at all costs if you want to keep your credit score strong.
Small Value Debts
Some versions of credit calculation, such as the most recent FICO system, do not count debts under $100 that go to collections when doing calculations. This means that very small infractions that end up with a collector may not affect your credit score. However, it is always best to avoid collections and keep your payments up to date at all times.
Speeding Ticket FAQs
WIll speeding tickets affect my insurance rates?
After facing one or multiple speeding tickets, you might start to worry about whether or not you are going to need to pay more for car insurance. Sources say that insurance rates can go up as much as 25% after a speeding ticket. Your driving record is considered when determining your insurance rate, and that is why any driving infractions will affect your rates.
If you have or plan to get life insurance, these rates can also be affected by how many infractions you have. Risky drivers with many tickets are considered more of a liability to insurance companies, and that causes their life insurance rates to be higher.
I got pulled over but didn’t get a ticket; what now?
Sometimes, drivers get pulled over by police but no ticket is issued. The police officer may decide that the infraction was not serious enough to issue a ticket over. Typically, they will check your record when they run your license. If your record comes up clean of any driving infractions, you may be let go with a warning.
Written warnings are recorded in the system and will appear on your driving record, but verbal warnings typically do not get recorded by police. If you didn’t get a ticket, take this as your one get-out-of-jail-free card and make sure to drive more safely in the future.
Will a speeding ticket give me points on my license?
Drivers that live in states with a points system will be issued points on their license when they are ticketed for driving infractions such as speeding. For example, you may be given 9 points on your license for a speeding infraction.
Every year that passes without an additional infraction, a certain number of points will be removed. Once your license is clean of any points for a period of time, your license will be treated as if you never had points again.
To find out more information about how points are used in your state, search your state’s name and license points. This will help you find out what you need to know about the point system.