The things that 'ding' your credit score - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

The things that 'ding' your credit score

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We all know that late payments on our credit cards or mortgage can really hurt our credit score, but there are some smaller things that can really ding it, too.

Money Expert Nathan Bachrach is talking about things you may ignore because you think, "they don't really count " - stuff like unpaid parking tickets, even library fines. Some cities actually report those things to credit bureaus, and any unpaid debt can hurt your score.

Another one - signing up for one of those department store credit cards. Yes, they try to tempt you with your 10% or 20% off your purchases that day, but signing up means a "hard inquiry" on your credit report - and that will cost you points. Maybe as few as five, or as much as twenty, depending on who you ask.

Another oops - closing a credit card with a zero balance. Now that may seem counter-intuitive - you pay off a card, and you want to dump it. Well, you probably shouldn't. Closing that account throws off your "credit utilization rate", which looks at how much of your available credit you're actually using.  Close an account that's on zero, and you lose some of that available credit.

Another problem with closing old accounts is just that - they're old. About 15% of your Fico score is determined by the length of your credit history, so keep those accounts open.

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