First things first: your credit report and your credit score are two different things. Your credit score is calculated based on the information in your credit report. Higher scores reflect a better credit history and make you eligible for lower interest rates. Here are six mistakes to avoid so that your credit score does not negatively affect your credit score.


 Paying Bills Late

You may be able to get away with one late payment, but in many cases even a single late payment can have negative consequences on your credit score (Don't fret though, check out our information on how to get your credit score back up!)

Having too many lines of credit

Don’t apply for a lot of new credit in a short time, especially if you are getting ready to get a mortgage. Doing so may negatively affect your score. Your credit score may decline if you have too many credit account


 Racking Up a Bill You Can’t Afford

Even more damaging than a late payment is credit charge-offs, a debt that a creditor believes cannot be collected. Credit charge-offs result from a lack of payment on a debt and will be sent to a collection agency where they will attempt to collect the balance. This will hurt your credit score and will stay on your report for seven years. Bad credit means higher interest rates later on down the road.

Letting your credit card get charged-off.

A charge-off is one of the worst things that can happen to your credit report and your credit score. The charge-off listing will stay on your credit report for seven years and could effect your ability to get credit cards and loans in the future. It takes six months of missed payments to get to charge-off status. Bring delinquent accounts current before it gets to that point.

Maxing out your credit card.

Charging your credit card balance beyond 30% of your credit limit is dangerous to your credit score. Getting close to your credit limit puts you at risk for over-the-limit fees and penalty interest rate your credit card charges when you exceed your credit limit. Maintain a good credit card balance for a healthy credit score and manageable payment amount.

Closing your credit card out of frustration.

Canceling your credit card account will seldom get you anywhere with your credit card issuer. It will almost always cost you credit score points as you drive your credit utilization up. Leave



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