A credit score can significantly improve or destroy your quality of life. For this reason, most people try to maintain a good credit score. Unfortunately, most will always try to look at the bigger picture regarding the credit score. In so doing, they ignore the sneaky little things that could ruin their credit score.
Several factors, such as the number of active accounts, loan repayment history, among others, are used to calculate the credit score. Lenders use the credit score to calculate the probability of getting paid back promptly.
What Is A Credit Score?
A credit score is any number that ranges from 300-850 that shows how creditworthy you are. The higher the score, the better the chances of getting a loan are. A credit score plays a significant role in influencing lenders’ decisions.
The credit score model was formulated by (FICO), the Fair Isaac Corporation. This is the formula mostly used by financial institutions even though other credit-scoring methods exist. Factors such as an individual’s total debt, types of loans, and repayment history are used in calculating one’s credit score.
Lenders use a credit score to determine who qualifies, the interest rate, and loan duration. It is not limited to lenders only. Landlords, phone companies, insurers, and online lenders can also use the credit score to evaluate their clients’ creditworthiness.
10 Things That Can Ruin Your Credit Score
The following 10 things could ruin a borrower’s credit score.
1. Late payment
It only takes one late payment to lower a credit score. If it took longer to repay the loan, the effect would be worse than a shorter delay.
The last time a late payment was made also determines the credit score. A late payment made more than five years ago would do more harm to the credit score than a late payment made in the recent past.
2. Failure to pay bills on time
Failure to pay bills like rent, utilities, phones, and electricity on time negatively affects your credit score.
3. Credit history length
The amount of time one has held a credit account also determines their credit score. A more extended credit history equates to a higher credit score.
4. Credit mix
A borrower who has both revolving and installment credit accounts has a higher credit score. Having mixed credit accounts shows a better ability to handle credit, thus a higher credit score.
Making timely payments on mixed credit accounts is advisable in maintaining a high credit score.
5. Misuse of available credit
Overutilization of the available credit accounts can raise a red flag to lenders. Lower credit utilization of 30% and below is recommended since it raises a borrower’s credit score.
6. Applying for too much credit over a short period
Making too many requests over a short period may lower the credit score. Lenders might perceive that you are in a dire financial position and cannot pay debts in good time.
7. Failure to dispute inaccurate information on a borrower’s report
You should check your credit file regularly. This is because mistakes do happen, and inaccurate information may find its way to your credit report and lower your credit score.
8. Balance transfers
In as much as having a single credit card may be convenient, it lowers the credit score. This is because it raises credit utilization which in return lowers the credit score.
Being unemployed and failing to make timely payments on bills could lower your credit score.
10. Cancelling credit cards
Canceling zero balance credit cards could affect credit score. Canceling cards raises credit utilization and shortens the age of credit history.
If you want to avoid the disappointments that come with having a low credit score, you must increase your score. Ensure that all bills and credit are paid on time, review credit reports, and if you have, outstanding debts consolidate them. These are some of the ways of improving your credit score.