5 Sneaky Ways You're Wrecking Your Credit Score

Even if you pay your bills on time religiously, your credit score may be endangered.

canceling a credit card
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mathieukor
CANCELING A CREDIT CARD.
We are often led to believe that taking a pair of scissors and snipping that charge monster to shreds is a good thing. But don’t cut up those old cards so quickly. Your credit score takes into account credit history. Get rid of an old standby in your wallet and you could erase all those years you were an excellent bill payer.
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2 of 5
Mark Gabrenya
USING MORE THAN 30% OF YOUR LIMIT.
Let’s say your credit limit is $5,000, and last month you charged $4,500. When the bill came around, you paid it off in full. Good, right? Wrong. Maxing out your credit card — even if you can afford to — only stands to hurt your credit score. Use just 30 percent of your credit card limit to boost your credit score.
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Deejpilot
CONSOLIDATING YOUR ACCOUNTS.
So you’re considering transferring all your credit card balances to one card so you’re only dealing with one bill every month. It sounds sensible, right? A big no-no, according to the keepers of the credit score. Think of it this way: One big balance looks a whole lot worse than multiple low balances. Appearances are everything.
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John Rodriguez
ACCEPTING CREDIT LINE INCREASES.
Being the responsible, on-time bill-payer that you are, your credit card company rewards you by upping your credit line. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but remember how much you can afford to reasonably charge. Resist the urge to spend more or risk being unable to meet your new minimum payments.
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Suprijono Suharjoto
NOT ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT.
Don’t accept everything your credit card company offers as written in stone. If you don’t want that credit line increase, ask them to reduce it back to your old one. Had one late payment? If your record is squeaky clean, ask them nicely to remove the blemish from your credit history (which, remember, could cost you up to 100 points on your credit score). They could say no, but they could very well say yes because they value you as a customer. Ask anyway. Your credit score will thank you.
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