7 Ways To Ruin Your Credit Score: Factors That Affect Your Credit

7 Ways To Ruin Your Credit Score: Factors That Affect Your Credit

Many factors affect your credit scores - understanding them can help you plan the most efficient way to grow or manage your credit. But why do you have to care about what affects your credit score?

Your credit score says whether you have a good track record of financial stability and credit management. It also determines whether you can get a car loan, purchase a house, rent the apartment of your dreams, or even how much you pay for utility deposits.

The score varies typically from 300 to 850, but behind the numbers, five key factors are used for credit scoring. While each specific criteria change, the following are the most common factors that affect your credit scores:

  • Payment History
  • Credit Use
  • Length of Credit History
  • Types of Credit
  • New Credit

Although it takes time to build a good credit score, did you know that it can be ruined in an instant? All it takes is a slight overspending here and a few late payments there to ruin your credit score for years. You should avoid the following seven ways to ruin your credit score at all costs!

How To Ruin Your Credit Score

Applying for a credit card before you're even ready for one

While you can technically receive a credit card at 18, that doesn't mean you're ready for one. Before getting your credit card for the first time, you should have a basic understanding of finances. You risk ruining your credit before you even get to use it if you don't have any basic financial abilities.

Make sure that you can have a checking account without overdrawing it, meet deadlines without being reminded, and manage your money well!

Opening too many credit cards at once

Opening multiple credit cards all at once can lead to spending problems and late payments! Aside from placing yourself at risk of overspending, opening too many credit cards at once shows that you're just eager for money.

Applying for a credit card when you don't have a job

Before authorizing you for a credit card, credit card providers ask for your monthly income. They don't necessarily require proof of income or ask how long you've been employed, though. Before applying for a credit card, make sure you have a stable job.

If you don't have a consistent monthly income, you can't make your monthly credit card payments. If you miss your monthly payments, you are ruining your credit score. It’s as simple as that.

Skipping payments

You're ruining your credit score regardless of whether you forget to pay, can't afford to pay, or purposefully miss your monthly credit card payments.

Your late payment is reported to the credit bureaus after 30 days, and your account is declared in default after six months. Because payment history is a crucial factor affecting your credit, missing payments can be disastrous to your credit score!

Ignoring bills that are past due

If you fail to pay a past due account for any reason, the company will chase you for payment. They'll either phone you or email you in an attempt to get you caught up. If that doesn't work, they'll turn to debt collectors.

Once the account is taken over by a debt collector, the delinquency will be added to your credit report, affecting your credit and ability to get future applications accepted.

Allowing an irresponsible person to use your credit card

Unless your credit card is stolen, you are responsible for any purchases made with it. So, if you let a stranger borrow your card, you're accountable for the balance! The same is true when adding authorized users to your account. Make sure they're responsible borrowers.

Not keeping your sensitive personal information safe

Your bank account, your SIN, and, most importantly, credit card numbers are all examples of sensitive personal information. Maintain the security of your personal information to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts or the creation of new accounts in your name.

Conclusion

Building a good credit score after you've ruined yours requires a lot of work and on-time payments. The mistakes you committed will for sure haunt you for the rest of your life! Still, if you change your poor habits and start being responsible for your credit, they won't be as bad.

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