Surprising Hits Against Your Credit Score

In simple terms, your credit score is your financial reputation and is influential in whether banks will extend you a line of credit or a loan. For Americans, being able to purchase their own home is one of life’s pleasures and for most is dependent on the ability to borrow. Having either an excellent score or a so-so one will be a big factor in getting approved for a decent, low interest loan or having to settle for a small, costly one. While most consumers understand how a missed loan or late credit card payment can negatively impact their credit score, they may not be aware of steps that can cause their score take a dive.

Name changes

Thinking of changing your name? Perhaps you want to eliminate the hyphen that seemed like such a good idea when you first got married, or you want to shorten the length of your name by using an initial. This is a prime example of an innocent move that could negatively affect your score. But, thankfully, there is an easy solution. Notify your creditors and the credit reporting agencies of the name change and your records should be correctly listed under your new name. Request a copy of your reports to confirm that the change has actually been made.
Unpaid Parking Tickets Are you one of the millions of people who disregard parking tickets? If you are, you might want to ante up on what you owe because more and more jurisdictions are turning their unpaid accounts over to collection agencies. And one of the biggest hits to credit scores is having an account in collections. These could include tickets written against you in another state!

Short Sales

Selling anything for less than its value is never a good financial move, but if money is tight you may have to resort to a short sale as a last resort. Taking a financial hit and losing thousands of dollars is hard enough but to see your credit score dive on top of it adds insult to injury. But there’s good news – a short sale doesn’t do as much harm to your score as some may think. It’s the missed payments that lead up to the short sale that do the damage. So keep making those mortgage payments until you’ve secured a buyer. And don’t let fear of a lower credit score stop you from getting out from a mortgage that is underwater or one that is a hardship is better than foreclosure. There are no hard and fast rules to why a credit score drops, but common sense rules in matters of finance. If you’re living on the edge, missing payments and have a high percentage of debt in comparison to your available limits and your income, every little negative action will bring a drop in your score. But if you keep your balances at less than fifty percent of your available credit limits and make all your payments on time, they may be more forgiving of small missteps when calculating your score.

Change your ways and see your credit score come back to a healthier level.

About The Author: Noreen Ruth writes for ASAP credit tips blog and several popular finance websites. She is interested in educating consumers about using credit responsibly and about legislative action that will affect their ability to borrow the money they need. She has contributed hundreds of articles to various online sites that provide content to educate consumers on credit reports, credit cards for poor credit, debt relief services, loans and other finance related topics.