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Does your credit impact your health?

, by Jeanne Kelly

You probably already knew this intuitively (for example, you might have read that paragraph above and said, "of course they're connected, Jeanne!"). In spite of this, people are frequently surprised when I suggest that our health and our credit are closely connected. Health and credit are two things we don't always see as linked... but they are. Your health can impact your credit. Your credit can impact your health.

I went to Dr. Max Gomez, Medical Correspondent for CBS in New York for a little tip on this and he said, "Ever notice how when you're happy your bad back or aching knee doesn't bother you as much? That's your state of mind directly impacting your health. And ever notice how lousy you feel when you're under stress... like when your finances and credit have gone south? There's clearly a mind-body-finance connection when it comes to health. Make one better and the others follow!"

Here are 4 ways that your health and your credit is linked. Of course these are generalizations and there are always going to be exceptions, yet I find these to be true most of the time...

1. Good health can lead to good credit (and vice versa). If you're healthy, you're able to work more consistently, which earns a more predictable paycheck, which helps you with a more predictable budget, which helps you maintain better credit. On the other hand, if you're not healthy, you may not be able to work as consistently, which may lead to a less predictable paycheck, which may make it harder to budget, which could mean that you rely on debt or you accidentally miss payments a little more frequently.

2. Bad credit can be stressful and that's not good for your health. Bad credit can hold you back from opportunities and can force you to pay higher interest rates on borrowed money. This can cause a lot of stress, and prolonged stress is not good for your health.

3. You may need good credit if you have bad health. If you are in poor health, you may need to visit the doctor more often, which could cost you a lot of money or even force you to borrow to pay for hospital bills. Good credit can help address this but bad credit can make these loans cost more.

4. The same skills required to achieve good health are necessary for good credit. It takes certain habits to be healthy - from making proper choices to being persistent in your fitness even if you don't see immediate results. The same goes for good credit, too. So if you can master your health, you can certainly master your credit!

Credit and health are very closely connected. One can often impact that other. I've listed 4 ways above but there are more. Can you think of other ways that health and credit are connected?

As you make health-related decisions throughout the day and credit-related decisions throughout the day, consider how one affects the other - you might be surprised! If you're struggling financially, or if you simply have some credit questions you want to discuss, the myFICO forums is a vibrant community and an excellent resource. Simply talking through your financial stresses may be all you need to feel healthier!

Jeanne Kelly

Jeanne Kelly is a nationally recognized authority on credit, the founder of The Kelly Group and the author of The 90-Day Credit Challenge. She has appeared on The Today Show, and blogs for Huffington Post & Poughkeepsie Journal. Visit her online at