A. Unfortunately the answer is YES.
Based on a recent study, drivers with poor credit pay twice as much -- 91 percent more on average -- than those with excellent credit scores; those with average credit pay 24 percent more.
What can you do?
Pay on time: Pretty obvious, right? But paying your bills on time every time has the biggest impact on your credit score, accounting for about 35 percent of the final number, according to FICO, the nation's biggest credit scoring company.
Age: It may seem completely unfair to a youngster, who also suffers with higher insurance rates because they have less driving history, but the longer you manage your credit responsibly, the better your credit score. Young people might try to become "authorized users" on their parent's credit card accounts. That gives you a longer credit history than you can develop on your own. And, to be fair, if your parents are responsible about their credit, you're likely to be too. The length of your credit history accounts for about 15 percent of your score.
Borrow sparingly: A big piece of a credit score -- about 30 percent -- measures how much credit you use compared to how much credit you have available on revolving credit lines, such as credit cards. So, if you have 10 credit cards, which all boast $1,000 limits, you have a total of $10,000 in available credit. If you borrow the maximum on all of those cards, your usage is 100 percent -- and your credit score is toast. Try to use 10 percent or less of the credit you have available.
Manage your accounts: The other 20 percent of your score measures how many different types of credit -- credit cards, auto loans, student debt, mortgages -- you have. (The more types of credit you've managed well, the better.) And how much new credit you've applied for. If you're always in the market for loans, it will hurt your score. Add accounts when you need them, but be sparing about your new credit requests.
Check your report: Sometimes a bad score is not your fault. An identity thief could have hijacked your information and applied for credit in your name. Make sure your credit report only reports information about you by getting a free copy of your credit report at least once a year at annualcreditreport.com.