If you've ever tried to secure a bank loan, purchase a car or even find a job, you know how much weight your credit score carries. Those three little numbers can mean the difference between financial success, and simply getting by. You've taken every precaution to protect your credit score, but still cannot seem to keep your number from plummeting. Unbeknownst to you, the reason why your credit isn't ideal could be your everyday bad money habits. Here are three very common, and utterly avoidable, habits and choices that are dooming your credit:
Misusing Your Credit Cards
Your available credit limit and credit card balance have a huge impact on your credit card. This is why you're careful to never max out your cards or apply for credit cards you don't need, and aren't sure you even qualify for.
However, managing your credit cards responsibly goes much further than this.
Here are a few tips to ensure your credit cards don't ruin your credit score:
Relying Too Much on Your Credit Cards – According to a study conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a whopping 70 percent of people polled would be financially doomed if they had to pay for everything with cash. If you are amongst this group, it's time to start rethinking your relationship with your credit cards.
Cutting Up a Card That is Finally Paid Off – It's taken you months of cutting back, but you've finally paid off that pesky, high interest credit card. Before you grab your scissors and call the credit card company to close your account, realize that this rash decision can negatively impact your credit score. Closing the account means you have less available credit, which will lower your score a few points.
I'll Pay For Dinner, Again – If you have a job that requires wining and dining potential clients or colleagues, grabbing the bill and paying with your own credit card is a poor business decision. Instead, ask for a company credit card or an expense account to cover these business-related costs.
I Can Cosign Your Loan
Have you unwittingly become the go-to person when a friend or family member needs a cosigner for their mortgage or car loan?
This benevolent act might make you feel amazing in the moment, but if your loved one isn't as financially responsible as you, it can negatively impact your credit for years to come.
When you cosign a loan, you are basically taking responsibility for the payments, as well. This means if your friend or family member makes a late payment, or even worse, defaults on the loan, you will be held financially responsible.
Don't allow the dreams of owning a home or vehicle ruin your financial future by just saying "I Don't Think So" the next time you're asked to cosign a loan.
Everyone has a bad day once in a while, but it's how you deal with the stress that counts. If purchasing an amazing new handbag, gadget or something even more expensive is your version of therapy, this instant gratification can doom your credit.
Instead of purchasing stuff that makes you feel good in the moment, put down your credit card and look for more fulfilling ways to ease the stress. For example, you could pull up your credit report and monitor how using your credit responsibly has positively impacted your score!
Maintaining fair, good or excellent credit is tricky, but completely possible with the right plan and a few changes to your financial habits. Just remember that protecting your credit score is of utmost importance, even if it means putting down that fabulous pair of boots!
However, if you do find yourself struggling to make payments, consider taking out a short-term payday loan at a company like EZ Money.