Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket while on vacation? You may want to stuff it in the glove box and forget about it. But If you do, it could end up dinging your credit score.
Traffic tickets and credit may not seem related, but consumer advocates say think of that ticket as a debt owed to the city or county that issued it.
Margo Mitchell of Credit Counseling Centers of Oklahoma says the driver's credit score may fall, if the unpaid ticket is turned over to a collection agency. And she says more financially struggling cities and counties are doing that, to make money.
A lower credit score makes borrowing more difficult and costly. You may get that loan, but at a higher interest rate.
In Tulsa, unpaid traffic tickets don't impact credit ratings. Court Administrator Tony Cellino says they use other methods to get people to pay up, like attaching liens to state income tax refunds or preventing license tag renewals.
But other cities you visit may. So keep in mind, it's not the ticket itself that can damage your credit, but waiting so long before paying it, especially if that debt ends up in collections.