Your credit score is like a GPA for your personal finances. It takes all of your credit information — from credit cards and loans to debts and bankruptcies — and distills it down to a single number. Companies use your score to determine your eligibility and interest rate for loans, and prospective landlords and employers can even use it to evaluate your application.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to put a few black marks on your credit report accidentally, and some marks can have a serious negative impact on your financial reputation. Pay attention to these 10 ways that you can hurt your personal credit scores so you can avoid them and set yourself up well for the future.
1. Missing a Payment
Whether through forgetfulness or lack of funds, many of us have missed a credit card payment at some point in our lives. Fortunately, many credit card companies are willing to forgive a few mistakes if you’re willing to pay the debt as soon as possible. If it happens to you, talk to your credit card company about setting up automatic payments so that you won’t be late again.
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