There are some with no CC at all that have 800+ scores and those with only CCs that have the same.
Yes, some creditors will check your CR. It depends on the job as to what they may be looking for. Military is more looking at your risik of taking bribes.
Lowest interest rates
Lowest insurance rates
If you ever need anything in an emergency, you will not have issues getting it.
Shows you are responsible and reliable.
Sense of accomplishment and self worth
No security deposits
If you are applying for a job in the financial industry, a bad credit score will almost certainly reduce your chances at getting the job. SAS70 and SOX have requirements for credit review at certain levels of jobs. Similar to the military, they don't want you being tempted to misapproriate funds to pay your debts.
Guiness56 hit the benefits well, I just have some other comments:
What I am trying to find out is, is it worth it? Being nearly debt free is great, but in order to have a top notch score, you need multiple cards, multiple loans, very few or zero hard inquiries, no missed payments, near debt free, etc.
Obtaining and maintaining an excellent score is achievable without jumping through hoops. It can be done with just a few cards and a clean credit history. If you have baddies, they will take time to come off. But exact balances, and product mix won't prevent you from getting an excellent score.
I had to do a "Deed in Lieu" back in 1999. My credit suffered for a while. But without really trying I found that it had corrected itself. All I did is pay my bills on time and hung on to one credit card (for about 5 years). Later, when I applied for credit I found out I had a mid-700's score.
I have heard some jobs look at your credit score, is this true? If they do, do they put a hard inquiry on your score? Why do they check it?
I've had the same job for 17 years now so although I'm not sure, I believe that this type of credit check should only be a soft inquiriy. In general, your credit history speaks to your level of responsibility. Medical emergencies and job loss aside, if you have a poor credit history you may not be the responsible individual a company is looking for. (particularly in the financial industry)
Some benefits to me is that it is a motivator to paying things off promptly, makes me feel more responsible, makes me feel accomplished, but it feels false so to speak. Like you don't really benefit, unless of course you need money to make lots of money, other than that idc how having a high score helps you.
The biggest motivation I have for paying things off promptly is NOT GIVING CCC's MONEY! When I get a bill and look at how much interest I will pay if I only pay the minimum it almost makes me physically ill.
If you use credit, it can even pay you! I run everything I can through my Costco Amex card and I get $500 - $600 back every year. And I don't pay them a dime in fees or interest.
Dave Ransey would have you forsake the entire credit score route all-together. But I think that you have to jump through more hoops for that to work than you do just using a small amount of credit responsibly.