Credit scores –– or the lack of a credit score –– significantly influences a customer’s buying power. Read on to learn about the different credit score tiers and how merchants can make purchases accessible for their customers.
How Credit Score Affects Purchase Options
High credit scores provide access to credit, but bad or low credit scores create barriers for consumers seeking credit. About 1 in 5 Americans have no credit history or cannot be scored, meaning they will have difficulty obtaining credit to make big purchases. As a result, these individuals must go without products they need: medical mobility equipment, water filtration products, hearing aids, and other items vital for improving the quality of life in day-to-day living.
Below, we walk through the different credit tiers and explore how consumer financing benefits a buyer and a business.
Five Credit Score Levels
Most Americans fall into one of five credit score tiers: deep subprime, subprime, near-prime, prime, and super-prime. We’ve outlined the different categories and included some helpful stats.
- Super Prime
Super-prime is the highest credit tier attainable. A super-prime credit score is anything above 720. As a result, customers in this bracket enjoy easy credit access, and their rates are typically much lower than individuals in other tiers.
Prime credit scores rest between 660 and 719. According to Experian, the average credit score among Americans falls into the prime credit score tier at 710. This number sits at an all-time high, rising seven points from 2019 and 21 points since 2010.
- Near Prime
Near-prime credit scores fall between 620 and 659. Near prime is not ideal for most customers, but buyers in this tier still have access to some credit, though their interest rates are typically high.
Subprime credit scores range from 580 to 619. Thus, roughly 6 percent of Americans have subprime credit.
- Deep Subprime
Any time a credit score falls below 580, it’s considered deep subprime. According to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 13 percent of Americans have deep subprime credit. Unfortunately, individuals with a deep subprime credit score have a tough time obtaining credit.
What Determines Credit?
Multiple factors determine an individual’s credit score, including the following:
- Payment history, with penalties for late payments
- Credit utilization ratio (the amount of revolving credit used divided by the total amount available)
- Age of credit accounts
- Types of credit on your accounts (installment credit, revolving credit, and open credit [think a monthly electric bill])
- Number of credit inquiries on your report
Banks and lenders pull credit reports to determine a person’s credit score. These reports reflect credit health and take the above factors into account.
Suppose businesses operate on a “cash or credit only” model. In that case, they are missing out on serving a large percentage of Americans who need readily-available cash for day-to-day living expenses. Offering consumer financing provides a way for businesses to empower buyers by making low monthly payments, bringing in more customers, increasing sales and revenue, and helping customers obtain their purchase or service.
Financing options make big-ticket items a possibility for customers with less-than-ideal credit, as long as they have a method to repay the loan over a set period of time, perhaps 18 or 24 or 36 months.
Purchasing Options and Credit Scores
As a merchant, you want to make your products and services accessible to as many customers as possible. This mindset benefits both your business and your patrons. Offering consumer financing is ideal for making purchases possible for the widest variety and the most significant number of customers.
Consumers want buying options. Even shoppers with the best credit may not want to put every big-ticket purchase on a credit card or may not have the up-front cash. Shoppers with no-too-great credit may not have access to credit cards. When you offer consumer financing, you from you.
More than half of Americans have used a “buy now, pay later” service to purchase goods. In addition, from July 2020 to March 2021, every age demographic has increased their usage of consumer financing services –– and for a good reason. According to Business Insider, the number one reason shoppers choose consumer financing is that they want to avoid paying credit card interest which is usually higher than consumer financing interest rates.
These preferences are apparent in consumer financing market statistics. For example, the global consumer financing market will reach $20.4 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 22.4%. This demonstrative growth motivates merchants to offer consumer financing options to their customers.
Choosing Consumer Financing for Your Business
Consumer financing works for your business regardless of your industry or target customer. Financing helps increase average order value and helps increase order numbers while keeping payments affordable for shoppers. In addition, financing options give customers the confidence to shop with your business and bring home goods the same day.
As you can see, consumer financing has the potential to significantly increase your revenue, even if your shoppers come in with less-than-ideal credit scores. That’s why choosing your financing firm is so important.
United Consumer Financial Services has decades of experience serving businesses just like yours. UCFS delivers proven service to every client, from pet retailers to medical providers to home improvement and in-home sellers and every business in between.
UCFS houses a U.S.-based customer support team ready to answer all your questions and help your customers with their accounts. Available seven days a week, the customer support team frees you up to invest your time and energy into helping your business thrive.
Most industries serve a diverse clientele with equally diverse credit scores. Understanding your consumers’ needs empowers you to serve them better and, in turn, increase your revenue. Offering consumer financing through UCFS helps your customers access your products even if they have less-than-ideal credit scores.
Contact our team today to see how consumer financing can open a world of opportunity for your shoppers and your business.