What Affects Your Credit Score?

There are many different factors that can influence a person’s credit score.  Paying bills late, filing bankruptcy, failing to make loan payments, etc. can all adversely affect your credit score.  There are also a few things that can adversely affect your score that may not be as obvious.   Let’s review a few of these:

  • Having high credit card balances relative to your credit limit. Even if you pay off your balance in full each month, if you charge amounts close to the limit on your cards, this can taint your credit score.
  • Closing old credit card accounts. Since credit bureaus look at the length of your credit history, if you had a long-standing credit card account that was in good standing and then closed it, that history may no longer be available to help boost your credit score.
  • Applying for new credit card accounts or loans. Credit inquiries can account for as much as 10% of your credit score, so only apply for a new account if you really need one.
  • Not paying a parking ticket. Some large cities will send unpaid parking tickets to collections and this can damage your credit score.
  • Credit report inquiries. If a potential lender pulls your credit report, your score may be negatively affected.  On the bright side, if you check your own score or report, that doesn’t negatively affect your score.

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