While a DUI doesn’t show up directly on your credit report, there
are financial ramifications that can have a catastrophic effect on your
credit score and your finances. So, the next time you get behind the wheel,
you’ll want to take the following information into account.
The simple fact that most
DUI costs can be paid with a credit card make it easy to go into debt if you
don’t have money stashed away for a rainy day. It all boils down
to how much of a cushion you have.
DUI costs may include:
- Impound fees
- Criminal fines
- Alcohol education classes
- Ignition Interlock Device fees
- Increased insurance premiums
- Restitution for property damage
- Fees in lieu of community service
- Civil judgements against DUI defendants
Paying for a DUI
If you are convicted of DUI, you’ll be paying more for your auto
insurance for the next three to five years. You could see your insurance
rates double, triple, or even quadruple. If your credit takes a hit, your
insurance rates could increase even more since insurance carriers often
check credit when setting rates.
If your DUI involved a
collision, you could be facing huge costs. You may have to pay restitution for property
damage; for example, if you plowed into a parked vehicle. If someone was
injured or killed, you could be sued in civil court and even hit with punitive
damages. A DUI conviction can be financially devastating.
How a DUI Can Tank Credit
If you were arrested for DUI and you can afford to cover the costs, a conviction
might not have any effect on your FICO score. However, for the less fortunate,
a DUI can tank a credit score because:
- Using credit cards to pay thousands in fines, alcohol education tuition
and other costs increase utilization ratio, which refers to the amount
of available credit being used. By using up your available credit, your
credit score takes a hit.
- Unpaid fines can get sent to collections, which stay on a credit report
for seven years.
- Judgements show up on credit as a public record and can hurt a credit score.
In the short-term, a DUI conviction can affect your ability to keep your
job, and get a new one. No job means no income to pay fines or credit
Even if you have a cushion to pay DUI-related fines and charges, a DUI
will come up on criminal background checks. Meaning, an old DUI conviction
can haunt you for years to come and have a negative impact on your career.
To fight your DUI charges, call the
Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc
. to work with one of the most qualified
teams in all of Orange County!