To maintain your good credit, paying bills on time is essential—most people do. However, many other things affect your credit score that are not as obvious.Some of the lesser-known things that can damage your credit:
Unpaid parking tickets.
More towns and municipalities are reporting unpaid debts to credit bureaus —parking citations and overdue library book charges. They can pop up unexpectedly in your credit report. These personal debts must be paid timely, and are as relevant to your financial health as paying utility bills and mortgages.
Past due utilities.
They may not be loans, but unpaid cable, water and electric bills will hurt your credit score.
Excess credit applications will reduce your credit score. Avoid the trap of signing up for special credit offers and bonuses; they will show up on a credit report and negatively affect your debt ratio.
Your full name matters!
Always use your first, middle and last name on credit applications. There may be a different John Michael Smith, John M. Smith and J. M. Smith—all appearing on your credit report. Try to stay consistent in using your name on applications. It will lead to fewer errors on your credit report.
The fine print.
Defaulting on a credit card—even with as little as one payment—can allow the card company to charge an astronomical rate, at times as high as 30 percent. Called the Universal Default Clause, this condition is typical in many credit applications. Read the agreement before signing!
Bad credit is not a sign of laziness.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have sufficient credit—and it can be a result of various circumstances. Did you know Mark Twain filed for bankruptcy? Even smart people have money difficulties—it is how you handle them that matters. Don’t bury your head, hoping credit problems will go away. Take care of it today!
- Tips for Improving Your Credit Score (ally.com)
- How long will unpaid bad debt stay on my credit report? (blogs.confused.com)
- Listen up, CFPB: Here’s What You Need To Do (forbes.com)
- 3 Ways To Clean Up Your Credit History (businessinsider.com)
- Getting Auto Insurance with Bad Credit (articles.onlineautoinsurance.com)
- A Good Credit Score = Employability (news.dice.com)
- Your Credit Score Impact On Home Buying Ability (century21prolink.wordpress.com)
- Bad Credit Repair Tips: How Does Bad Credit Repair Work if Items Listed Are Legit? (whatiscreditrepair.wordpress.com)
- Bad Credit Loans A low credit… (theaaroncraig.com)