Does Posting Bail Affect Your Credit Score?

Financial Questions About Posting Bail

Resolving crime is difficult, and handling funds related to misdemeanors and felonies can be costly. When posting bail for a friend or loved one, individuals often wonder about credit score infractions and effects. Sometimes, suspects are released upon their recognizance—costing the individual nothing.

Often, wondering about one’s credit score during such an incident is part of the process. Bail falls beneath the umbrella of “monetary lending actions”, and most wonder about bail posting’s impact upon credit scores. Thankfully, the effects are minimal, and they are indirect.

Bail Bond Agencies

Bail’s minimal impact upon credit scores is attributed to third party intervention. If one cannot easily write a bail check, or if one’s credit is not high enough to put the expense on a credit card, bail bond agencies are often a next resort. In general, they are capable of posting bail for a small fee—normally 10 percent of the total bail amount.

This expense is normally creditable, though it’ll be treated as a credit card cash advance. These advances can be expensive, and they often contain the following, defining factors:

  • Require an initial three-percent fee
  • Require interest
  • Begins accruing immediately
  • No grace period
  • Raised Balances and Loans

Realistically, the only factor posing a significant risk to an individual’s credit score within context is a raised balance. A raised balance attributed to a bond agency’s fee and credit utilization may impact a credit score when raised too high.

Additionally, taking out a personal installment loan can affect one’s score. Initial hard inquiries will drop the score, but new loans may give one additional credit—improving their overall score. In such cases, checking credit scores through online databases may be useful.

Overall, posting bail is not too damaging to a credit score, though raising balances and procuring loan funds can hinder an individual’s credit score fundamentally. The act of posting bail, itself, is harmless—though resulting processes may fall within the realm of “credit-score-damaging actions”. Discussing such situations with a credit advisor is important, and determining a pre-set action plan can both streamline future action and prevent credit damage.

Call (817) 303-3400 with any more bail related questions.