Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Five Practices That Hurt Your Credit Score

Factors contributing to someone's credit score...Image via WikipediaPresent times have put a great deal on credit scores. Know what practices to avoid so that your credit score would remain in good standing.

Our present society operates on credit. People are encouraged to lead a consumerist life despite the absence of actual money. Credit cards and loans have been available for anyone who wants to make purchases, large or small, in exchange of a promise to return what he or she would owe. Needless to say, words written on paper and signatures are not enough to serve as basis for allowing someone to borrow money. Credit scores are then devised to reflect a person’s creditworthiness. In the world of credit, it has become a significant determining factor in assessing if a person can repay the debt, what type of debt the applicant would qualify for, and on what percentage of interest the debt should operate. Credit scores should be kept in good standing to elicit trust from creditors.
Given that credit scores are important, you should make it a point to keep you credit standing in good and favorable condition. You should be aware of the practices that may hurt your credit score, as well as your finances.
1. Making late payments. One of the important components of your credit score is payment history. Your creditors look at this part of your score to know if you have been a responsible payer with your past financial obligations. You should avoid paying after the due date because missing payments can harm your score drastically.
2. Using 50 to 80 percent of your available credit. It is ideal that you only avail of 25 to 30 percent of your total allowed credit. It is better to have two or three cards with small balances than using one card up to its maximum limit.
3. Filing for bankruptcy. If you are overwhelmed with debt and you are struggling to pay them off, bankruptcy should be your last option. It can severely damage your credit score for years, as well as limit your employment opportunities and endanger your assets. If you really want to get rid of your debt, you may consider debt relief programs such as debt settlement and consolidation. This may affect your score to some extent but you can recover faster than when you file for bankruptcy.
4. Applying for multiple credit cards and loans. The number of inquiries that appear on your credit report may be regarded by creditors as a negative implication because it can indicate your critical financial situation. Your inquiries may be read as need for money or financial struggle.
5. Ignoring your debts. Some people think that ignoring their financial obligations will make their problems go away when in fact, this worsens the situation. As long as you disregard the notifications and creditor calls and not take action, interest and penalty charges add up to your principal debt and your credit score suffers. If you cannot handle your debts on your own, look into the available debt relief program that offer assistance in debt management. These solutions may somewhat harm your score but they may help you get out of debt faster. The sooner you clear up your debts, the better for your credit standing.

Despite the weight of credit scores in our present economy, you can resort to using cash and not opting for credit. However, maintaining good credit scores may be of great use if you plan to purchase a home or a vehicle. Keeping your credit score in a satisfactory condition also reflects your character, trustworthiness, and financial responsibility.

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