The Top Credit Score Killers You Didn't Know About

Sacha Strebe

In a world where credit is more commonly used than cash, it's safe to say most of you are managing multiple cards across various lenders, on top of auto and other personal loans. Since your credit score is used for just about everything these days, keeping it healthy will pay dividends over the long term and, according to Money, help you save a lot of money. Scroll down to discover a few things that can hurt your credit.

Don't Apply for Several Cards at Once

Every time you apply for a credit card or loan, the new lender will do a background check to see what your credit history looks like. If you are looking to extend your credit, these types of checks are known as hard inquiries (their softer sister includes more-everyday inquiries, like account review, employer credit check, or when you check it yourself), and these will take a few points off your score. Applying for multiple cards at once or over a short period creates lots of little dings that add up to one big dent in your overall score. But this only applies to credit cards. Loan inquiries are grouped together so people who want to shop around aren't penalized. 

Think Twice Before You Close a Credit Card

Even if you don't use that credit card account very much, closing it can do more damage to your overall score. By keeping it open, you can improve your "credit utilization rate"; closing it means you lose any of that available credit. Try reducing the amount you spend on credit cards to keep the utilization from going up. The older the credit card account, the more reason to keep it open; this maintains your "average age of credit." You've worked hard over a long time to build that up, so you don't want to lose it. And credit accounts younger than seven years can actually suppress your score too, so just think carefully before closing any credit cards from now on.

To read more credit score tips, visit Money.

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Did you know these could affect your credit score? Let us know and share your tips in the comments.

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