You’ve left the working world and are ready to enjoy your retirement years. So, you might be forgiven for thinking that your days of fretting over your FICO credit score are over.

Guess what? They’re not. Your three-digit credit score matters even in your retirement.

Lenders of all kinds, not to mention credit card providers, rely on your FICO credit score to determine how well you’ve managed your credit in the past. Having a low score can hurt you financially, even after you’ve left the days of commuting to work behind you.

Why Scores Matter

Your FICO credit score — you have three, one each maintained by the credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — is a key number throughout your adult life. Lenders rely on these scores to determine if you can qualify for loans. And if your score is low, even if you do qualify, you’ll pay higher interest rates.

Generally, lenders consider a FICO credit score of 740 or higher to be an excellent one. Scores under 640 are generally considered weak by lenders, and will leave you with higher interest rates on the money you borrow.

As you make your way through adulthood, lenders will check your scores as you apply for auto loans, mortgages, or credit cards.

When you retire, the odds are high that you will no longer be applying for mortgage loans. However, this doesn’t mean that credit scores will no longer play a key role in your financial life.

The Best Credit Cards

If you want to qualify for the best credit cards, including ones with the most generous rewards programs, you’ll need a high FICO score. Financial institutions only pass out their best credit cards to those customers who’ve proven that they have a history of paying their bills…