How Can a Driving Infraction Affect Your Credit?

How Can a Driving Infraction Affect Your Credit?

Mistakes are a natural part of life, which is why most drivers will find themselves with at least one ticket at some point in their lives. In many cases, a driving infraction is just another lesson to learn: you commit a minor offense, pay the fine, and drive more carefully in the future. Unfortunately, not every incident is that easy. More severe traffic violations can lead to consequences that extend far beyond an officer pulling you over and giving you a ticket. Some repercussions can even damage your finances and credit score. How can a driving infraction affect your credit? Learn all about expenses, debt, and other financial impacts with this guide.

Tickets, Fines, and Court Fees

Driving infractions come with a lot of different expenses. You’ll receive a ticket for your violation and a fine that you have to pay off. For more serious charges, you might have to pay court fees as well as your initial fines. If you can’t pay these expenses, the state might turn your fines over to a collection agency. The unpaid debt will deal a major blow to your credit, and the collection account will stay on your credit history for several years. Furthermore, if you use a credit card to pay off your tickets, you then have to contend with steep credit card debt, which will also lower your credit score.

Driving Under the Influence

A DUI is a serious offense that comes with serious consequences. While the crime itself won’t show up on your credit report, the cost is a huge part of how a driving infraction can affect your credit. After a DUI charge, you’ll likely face steep expenses like fines, attorney fees, bail, property damage costs, medical bills, or even the cost of repairing or replacing your car. On top of all of that, your auto insurance premium will go up. The strain that these costs put on your budget might cause other expenses—like rent and monthly bills—to fall by the wayside. However, comparing auto insurance quotes will help you find a better policy and save money, putting less strain on your budget and your credit.

Car Accidents

Car accidents can be scary, stressful experiences. Even after the incident, you might have to contend with steep costs that strain your finances. Property damage, medical bills, and other expenses that your insurance might not completely cover add up to a lot of debt. Even if your insurance covers all of the expenses, the lengthy processing time might lead medical providers or other involved parties to turn your unpaid bills over to collection agencies. You’ll have to contend with the collection agency and your insurance company to erase your debt and clear your credit.

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