Your credit score says a lot about you to lenders. One small mistake can cost you points which in turn can cost you money in higher interest rates or even cause you to be denied for a loan. Here are 5 mistakes that can hurt your credit.
Missing a single payment
It may not seem like a big deal to miss one payment especially if it is a small amount, but missing just one payment can cause you to fall around 100 points. Once you pay the amount you owe, your credit score should rebound fairly quickly, but you don’t want it to effect a loan decision in the meantime.
Opening too many lines at once
It looks bad to lenders if you received a large amount of available credit in a short amount of time. Plus, keep in mind that store credit cards and those furniture/appliance no payment options are all considered lines of credit that generate hard inquiries and can cost you around 5 points each.
Ignoring collection notices
Unfortunately, even if you think you don’t think you owe a bill, like a medical bill, it will still be turned into collections if it isn’t paid and negatively impact your credit score like any other missed payment for around 100 points. Probably not the most appealing solution, but the one that will have the least amount of impact on your credit, is to pay the amount and then settle with the company.
Closing an account
The effect this has on your credit varies based on the amount of available credit on the account, but closing an old account can lower your credit-to-debt utilization ratio. You may want to keep the account active by making small purchases and paying them off right away.
Maxing out a credit card
Again, this affects your credit-to-debt ratio and can have a negative impact on your credit score. Experts suggest keeping your balance on all credit cards below 33% of the available limit.
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Categories: Credit, Finances