Protect and Improve Your Credit Score
You’ve done your homework – you’re careful about the new debt you take on, adamant about making payments on time and have learned how to keep your ratio under 30% each month. However, no matter how much hard work and research you put in to improving your FICO rating, it can come as a surprise when things you'd never expect negatively affect your credit score. We’ve collected three of the most unexpected hits to your FICO score below.
- Closing a Credit Card Account. You’ve finally wiped out all your credit card debt and now you want to avoid ever having the temptation again. Or, maybe, you’ve gotten a new Florida Credit Union Visa Card and no longer use your older cards. While it makes sense in theory, cancelling your credit card account can cause a big ding to your credit score. Your score is based around how much available credit you have, so when you erase one of your credit cards, you remove that amount of available credit. Plus, if that card happens to be your oldest line of credit, you’re shortening your credit history, doing damage there, as well.
- Surprising Hard Credit Inquiries. You know that applying for a new card will require a hard pull on your credit, but did you know a lot of other transactions could cause that, too? For instance, asking for a credit limit increase, getting a new cell phone or even renting a car with your debit card could cause hard inquiries. All of these hits can affect your credit score negatively.
- Not Paying Your Parking Tickets. If you think ignoring those unpaid parking tickets is no big deal, you’d be very wrong. More and more municipalities are sending their unpaid tickets to collection companies, which can severely damage your credit score. And this doesn’t just mean tickets you acquire in your own town; this includes parking violations you may have gained while you were an out-of-town visitor!
The first step to increasing financial education and protecting your credit history is making sure you know what's on your credit report. Did you know you can receive a free credit report analysis by stopping at your local Florida Credit Union branch? Just another way FCU helps our members achieve financial success!
Have you ever been surprised by something that affected your credit score? Let us know in the comments below!
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