Who would’ve said that a simple number would be so significant and would have so many people nationwide concerned about it?
But that’s precisely what the credit score is.
A credit score is a number between 300 and 850 used to evaluate the creditworthiness of consumers, and it’s based on their financial history. Banks use this score to evaluate the ability of an individual to pay a debt.
Even though many people don’t really pay attention to it, it’s crucial to improve your finances and grow your business. The higher your credit score is, the more chances you have to access credit with good terms and optimal interest rates.
But some behaviors, actions, and habits can lower your chances of getting a loan. Or if you do get a loan, it will have very unfavorable terms and will b very expensive.
It’s vital that you make sure you don’t fall into any bad habits that can affect your credit score. And, to help you do that, we’re sharing with you the top 6 harmful habits to your credit score so that you can avoid them at all costs.
What hurts my credit score? 6 habits with a negative impact
The followings are six habits you must avoid if you don’t want your credit score to decrease.
1. Falling behind your payments
Your payment history is the most decisive factor in your credit score. That’s why you must avoid at all costs being late on your debt payments. Even only 1 late payment can affect your credit score. If you are late on one of your payments, the delay will show up on your credit report for up to seven years.
Make sure you always pay all your bills on time, and your credit score will remain healthy.
2. Opening too many credit lines at once
It’s not a good idea to open too many lines of credit at once, especially if you don’t have a long credit history. This behavior indicates lenders that you have financial problems, and you’re desperately seeking money to solve them.
Just applying for a credit line (even if you’re not approved) can hurt your credit score because most financial institutions do a hard pull, which lowers your score.
Make sure only to open one credit line at a time and, if you really need more than one, space them out as much as possible. Also, make sure you only apply for credit when you need it.
If you’ve already opened several lines of credit, don’t go and close them all at the same time. Keep reading to know why!
3. Closing an account
If you have finally paid off a credit card or you have one that you’re not using anymore, closing this account may seem the right choice.
Unfortunately, eliminating one account can lower your credit score.
When you do so, you reduce the total amount of credit available to you, and this affects your credit use rate. Also, your financial history can be compromised if you close off old accounts because these can prove that you have been financially responsible with your payments for an extended period.
4. Avoiding credit
If you avoid any type of credit in fear that you’re going to be in debt, you won’t create financial records, and you will reduce your possibilities of accessing a loan when you need it.
The good news is you don’t need to overspend or fall into debt to build your financial history. If you use a credit card for some of your monthly expenses, like your phone, gas, or food, and if you pay them on time, this will build your credit history.
5. Depending exclusively on your credit cards
Applying for and actively using a credit card can help you establish a good credit history, but this is not enough to get a high credit score.
Those with auto loans, mortgages, and other types of debt get a higher score than those who only use credit cards. This is because 10% of your credit score depends on different lines of credit since this information is used by lenders to know you’re capable of managing several types of credit simultaneously.
6. Ignoring your credit reports
Failing to check your credit report is one of the worst financial mistakes you can make. Make sure to check this information regularly and look for possible errors that could affect your credit score.
Annualcreditreport.com is a website where you can request your report from the three credit bureaus in the US, at no cost. If you find inconsistencies when reading your report, you must report them to the Bureau of your choice.
Start improving your credit score
It takes time to get a good credit score. Make sure you don’t spoil your credit score, making any of the mistakes above.
Many people don’t realize, but having a good credit score is vital, so start working today to build a strong and stable score. If you’re not sure of how to do it, don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
We have a bank of articles that can help you fully understand your credit score, and that will give you actionable tips to start improving it. Start growing your credit score today!