Sneaky Things That Affect Your Credit Score

Did you know these everyday occurrences could be hurting your credit score?

View as Slideshow

Closing an Old Credit Card Account

Closing an Old Credit Card AccountImage Source/Thinkstock
While canceling a long-held but seldom-used account may seem responsible, it will shorten the length of your credit history, which can lower your score. If you feel like decluttering your wallet, nix a few of your more recently acquired cards, and hang on to the oldest one you've got—that long credit history will serve you well in the long run.

Financing that New Bedroom Set

Financing that New Bedroom Set
If a local business offers to let you finance a purchase, think twice before accepting. The bank may consider it a “last resort” loan, which is a huge red flag for higher credit risk.

Battling a Bill

Battling a Bill
If you’re in the midst of a credit quarrel, the disputed credit line may be ignored during your score calculation. This will make it appear as though you are using a higher percentage of the total credit available to you, which can result in a lower-than-average number.

Getting a New Cell Phone

Getting a New Cell Phone
Applying for that fancy phone can trigger what’s called a hard inquiry, each one of which lowers your score by a few points. Anytime a company runs a credit check on you—if you apply for a loan or car insurance, for instance—a hard inquiry may follow. Also, check whether moving money from a big bank to a smaller credit union will trigger a hard inquiry. 
Content continues below ad

Not Paying Traffic Tickets

Not Paying Traffic Tickets
Parking fines can really take their toll—especially in cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York, where unpaid parking tickets are sometimes turned over to various collection agencies. The result: a damaged score. To find out if your city (or one you’re visiting as an out-of-state driver) uses an agency, search on its .gov home page, or contact the department of revenue to verify. 

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.