You know how important it is to maintain good credit for buying a house, purchasing a car or obtaining other types of loans. What you may not know – like many other consumers – is that you may be making some credit score mistakes that destroy your rating. Check out this list of common errors to avoid so you don’t fall into credit problems.
Common Credit Score Mistakes
- Forgetting to Make a Payment: Oversight can cost you in terms of negative history on your credit report. That mark will follow you around for seven years, in addition to costing you a late fee. Set up reminders so you don’t forget monthly payments on utilities, credit card bills and other obligations.
- Maxing Out Credit Cards: Over-utilizing your available credit amounts will also case your score to dip. Use your cards sparingly and pay off the amount in full each month to avoid destroying your rating.
- Co-Signing for Friends or Family: You’re on the hook if you co-sign a loan for someone. If they don’t make regular payments in full or otherwise are deficient, that will impact your credit score.
- Refusing to Pay a Bill: You might feel you’ve been cheated or want to contest a bill on principle, but these probably aren’t legitimate reasons for refusing to pay a bill. Regardless of your position on the matter, you can still be turned over to a collection agency and your credit score will be affected.
- Avoiding a Medical Bill: Medical expenses can be tough because you might assume your insurance company took care of payment – but it turns out you are responsible. Failing to pay these bills can drop your credit score significantly, so keep an eye out for bills and communicate with your healthcare provider to make sure they don’t slip between the cracks.
- Closing All Old Accounts: You might think that closing accounts is good for your credit, but the opposite is usually true. Your credit score is partially based on your credit history, as it makes 15% of your FICO score. A longer history is better; closed accounts in good standing are removed from your score after 10 years, so you miss out on that good history
- Credit Card Settlement: When you settle with a lender or credit card company for less than what you owe, this arrangement will be communicated to the credit reporting agencies. Your score drops when this negative history appears. However, in some cases, you may be able to negotiate to have the information reported in a way that’s less damaging.
- Not Checking Your Credit Score: It’s critical to run your credit report regularly – about once a year in most situations. Only by reviewing your report can you find inaccuracies and correct errors. Plus, monitoring your score helps you understand how your actions can increase or decrease your rating.
San Diego Debt Attorney
If you’re guilty of some of these credit score mistakes, you’re not alone. But the time is now to start fixing these problems and staying away from bad habits. For more information about credit repair, restoration and other debt issues, consider consulting with a San Diego debt attorney.
Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively in debt settlement, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in La Jolla, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gamezlawfirm.com.