Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

15 Things That Hurt Your Credit Score

Before you read this post, I want to recommend a great book that clearly explains (in simple language) how to improve your credit score. It’s called The Road to 850 (Proven Strategies for Increasing Your Credit Score) by Al Bingham. I recently attended one of his seminars then went home and bought the book. He really knows his business and the tips have been a wealth of knowledge and have greatly helped me improve my score. Please consider purchasing his book The small cost for the book will come back to you many times over with a better credit score. Amazon.com is the only place I know that sells it. Click the link or the book image to order it.

It’s really sad that about.com is more interested in driving traffic to their website in an effort to increase profits than allowing a blog to pass on some useful information to help people. The original post here was listed on the about.com website. LaToya Irby, the author of the original article sent me the following comment:

Hi! I appreciate your interest improving credit. However, this article is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission from About.com. If you would like to purchase reprint rights, you can do so through advertise.about.com.

Threfore, this blog post has been changed to give credit to about.com and LaToya Irby for every tip listed. I’s unfortunate that a company can provide some good information but at the same time still care more about profits than anything else.

An article I read on about.com said “Your credit score is an important number. It’s how creditor and lenders quickly decide if you are creditworthy.” The following tips were listed on the about.com website and authored by LaToya Irby. She said they can “hurt your credit score, so you can stay away from them.”

1. Paying late
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “thirty-five percent of your credit score is your payment history. Consistently being late on your credit card payments will hurt your credit score.” Irby says you need to “pay your credit card bills on time to preserve your credit score.”

2. Not paying at all
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “completely ignoring your credit cards bills is much worse than paying late.” Irby went on to say “each month you miss a credit card payment, you’re one month closer to having the account charged off.”

3. Having an account charged off
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “when creditors think you’re not going to pay your credit card bills at all, they charge off your account.” Irby says “this account status is one of the worst things for your credit score.”

4. Having an account sent to collections
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “creditors often use third-party debt collectors to try to collect payment from you. Creditors might send your account to collections before or after charging it off.” Irby says “A collection status shows that the creditor gave up trying to get payment from you and hired someone else to do it.”

5. Defaulting on a loan
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “loan defaults are similar to credit card charge-offs. A default shows that you have not fulfilled your end of the loan contract.”

6. Filing bankruptcy
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “bankruptcy will devastate your credit score.” They said “it’s a good idea to seek alternatives, like consumer credit counseling, before filing bankruptcy.”

7. Having your home foreclosed
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “getting behind on your mortgage payments will lead your lender to foreclose on your home.” Irby went on to say “in turn, the late payments will hurt your credit score and make it harder to get approved for future mortgage loans.”

8. Getting a judgment
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “a judgment shows you not only avoided your bills, the court had to get involved to make you pay the debt. While they both hurt your credit score, a paid judgment is better than an unpaid one.”

9. High credit card balances
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “the second most important part of your credit score is level of debt, measured by credit utilization. Irby also says “having high credit card balances (relative to your credit limit) increases your credit utilization and decreases your credit score.”

10. Maxed out credit cards
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “maxed out and over-the-limit credit card balances make your credit utilization 100%. This is least ideal for your credit score.”

11. Closing credit cards that still have balances
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, when you close a credit card that still has a balance, your credit limit drops to $0 while your balance remains.” Irby also says “this makes it look like you’ve maxed out your credit card, causing your score to drop.”

12. Closing old credit cards
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “another component of your credit score, 15%, is the length of your credit history – longer credit histories are better.” Irby also said “closing old credit cards, especially your oldest card, makes your credit history seem shorter than it really is.”

13. Closing cards with available credit
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “if you have several credit cards some with balances and some without, closing those credit cards without balances increases your credit utilization.”

14. Applying for several credit cards or loans
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “credit inquiries account for 10% of your credit score.” LaToya Irby went on to say “Making several credit or loan applications within a short period of time will cause your credit score to drop. Keep applications to a minimum.”

15. Having only credit cards or only loans
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “mix of credit is 10% of your credit. When you have only one type of credit account, either loans or credit cards, your credit score could be affected.” LaToya Irby says “this factor mostly comes into play when you don’t have much other credit information in your credit history.”

February 19, 2008 - Posted by | Helpful Resources, Money |

3 Comments »

  1. You should also add “not enough lines of credit” to you list. Also you should suggest debt settlement as an alternative to bankruptcy as consumer credito counseling does not work for all types of debts and often the savings are not large enough to keep the consumer afloat

    Comment by Jason | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. Its so hard to get your score to 850. You have to have perfect credit to get this score which is impossible for me.

    Comment by jim | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] 15 Things That Hurt Your Credit Score […]

    Pingback by 14 Things That Hurt Your Credit Score | Spirit Filled Finance | June 22, 2009 | Reply


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