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Things That Destroy Your Credit Score

Your credit score. You probably rarely think about it and most of us avoid checking it. You may be carrying a moderate to good credit score, but there are a few things that can hurt your credit score that you may not even know about until its too late. Here are some of the most common ways to ruin a good credit score:

High balances - having a large balance on your credit card damages your credit utilization ratio. This is the percentage of available credit that you are using. Generally, you want this amount to be low. When your balance is higher than 30% of your total available credit line the credit utilization ratio is strained and your score can drop.

Joint accounts - having a shared credit account isn't inherently bad, unless one spouse misses a payment or accumulates a large balance. Because joint accounts are reported on both parties credit score any irresponsible borrowing actions of a spouse can affect your score.

Closing accounts-having multiple lines of credit can be beneficial to your score, unless you open or close them all at once. You may have heard that keeping paid off lines of credit open is good for your score. This is true in that closing accounts reduces your amount of available credit, which increases the debt-to-credit ratio of any existing balances.

Co-signing loans - when you co-sign a loan for someone you are listing yourself as a responsible party for satisfying payments in the event the borrower defaults. Just as if you had taken out the loan yourself, a co-signed loan will be reported to your credit and can increase your debt-to-credit ratio. Further, if the borrower does default your credit score could suffer by the reporting of a delinquency status.

Unmonitored reports - many credit reports go unchecked for years, most carrying inaccurate information that is hindering the score. The reason you should take advantage of those free yearly credit report checks is to ensure your information is accurate and review your credit history. Your report shows the areas in which you may not be doing the best at managing your credit so you can begin to make changes to improve your score.

Read more about the 5 ways to ruin a perfect credit score here:

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