8 Ways You Hurt Your Credit Score and Don't Know It

We talked to experts about the lesser-known things that impact credit scores. Here's what you might not know.

Credit Utilization

Using too much of your total available credit can ding your score. You should aim to use no more than 30% of your available credit.

Co-Signing a Loan

Three risks here: First, your credit will be pulled, which can temporarily cause it to fall. Second, your credit utilization can be impacted. Third, any missed payments can show up on your credit history.

Closing an Old Account

Closing an account can negatively impact your score in two ways: It reduces your average age of credit as well as your available credit.

Opening Several New Accounts in a Short Period

Each new account will require a hard inquiry on your credit report, which causes your score to fall at least temporarily.

Late Payments (Not Just on Credit Cards)

Late payments on rent, phone bills, utilities and more can ding your credit score.

Not Catching Errors on Credit Reports

It's important to check your credit report when you can to make sure your baseline credit information is correct.


A mortgage is a pretty hefty loan. If you don't keep up with your payments, your credit score will soon reflect that.

Unpaid Parking Tickets

Any unpaid fines or fees can get sent to collections and, consequently, lower your score.