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Quiz: How Does Your Credit Behavior Impact Your Credit Score?

Written by Equifax Experts on January 20, 2015 in Credit  |   101 comments

Have you ever missed a credit card payment and wondered how—and why—it will impact your credit score? Take this quiz to find out how the way you’re using credit could be impacting your credit score.

quiz-how-does-your-credit-behavior-impact-your-credit-scoreYour credit history can play a vital role in your financial life because it’s used to calculate your credit score, which is a big factor that lenders consider when deciding whether to lend you money and at what rate. Your credit score can impact everything from getting a car loan to buying a home, so it’s important to understand how your credit behavior can affect your credit score. Take the quiz below to see how well you understand your credit score.

Question 1: You just made a $1,500 purchase on your only credit card, which has a $2,000 limit. This will impact your credit score because:

A. Your credit utilization ratio will change.
B. Your monthly payments will change.
C. The length of your credit history will change.

Answer: A. This purchase will change your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you are carrying compared with your available credit. It could impact your credit score because your credit utilization ratio accounts for 30 percent of your Equifax credit score. Ideally, you’ll use less than 35 percent of your available credit limit, or less than $700 on a card with a $2,000 limit.

Question 2: You pull your credit score and credit report only to realize that you have missed payments on your credit card for three consecutive months. This will impact your credit score because:

A. The interest is accruing on your credit card.
B. Your credit report will reflect that you pulled your own credit score.
C. Your credit report will reflect late payments.

Answer: C. A late payment will be reflected on your credit report, and your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your Equifax credit score. The credit reporting agencies (CRAs) look at how late your payments are, how much is owed, and how recently and how often you missed a payment. It’s important to pay every bill on time because one late payment can affect your credit score for up to two years. It also will remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of last activity or the date the account went 30 days late.

A high interest rate will impact your wallet but not your credit score. Pulling your own credit report will be reflected on your credit report but also will not have an impact on your credit score.

Question 3: You still have your very first credit card from college. You don’t use it very often, so you decide to pay off the balance and close the account. This will impact your credit score because:

A. The length of your credit history will change.
B. The balance is paid off.
C. You’re paying less in interest because you have one fewer card.

Answer: A. The longer you have had a credit account open and active, the longer your credit history will be. Lenders like to see that you’ve been able to handle credit responsibly over a long period of time. If you close the oldest account that you have, the length of your credit history, which accounts for 5 percent to 7 percent of your credit score, will change.

Question 4: You recently bought a house, and while you are shopping for new furniture, you decide to apply for store cards with several different retailers in order to get the discounts. This could impact your credit score because:

A. You will have more than one type of credit.
B. You will have opened several new lines of credit.
C. You will now be paying several monthly bills.

Answer: B. Your credit score reflects how much new credit you have as compared with the total number of tradelines in your credit file. New credit accounts for 10 percent to 12 percent of your credit score. While holding different types of credit can have a positive impact on your credit score, you may want to avoid opening several new accounts at once. New accounts can add recent inquiries to your credit file, which can impact your credit score for the next year. Opening new accounts can also reduce the average length of your credit history.

Your credit behavior directly impacts your credit score, but you might not be clear on why or how. Educating yourself on how credit works could help you take the right steps toward a better credit history.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Cindy B. says:

    Great article !
    Best advice was using less than 35 percent of your credit limit.
    Thank you!
    Well done!

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Cindy. Thanks for posting.

    • Francis D. says:

      Creditor’s like 30% or even lower on credit cards because the less risk you are to a loan, or future credit. Your debt utilization ratio should stay in good standing with the credit module’s that compute your credit/FICO at each credit agency each month.

    • ADA R. says:

      thank you for your tips, just educated my self with new information especially not using my credit over 35% the availability.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same here that was really helpful

    • michael m. says:

      i think if possible keep your use to 10% of available credit,works for me, no more than 30% and you should be just fine!!

  2. jayjay says:

    thank you for the breakdown of percentages that affect your credit score. this is a very good educational tool.

  3. Charles says:

    I have NO late payments on any of my Credit Card accounts but my debt to credit ratio is 55%. I remodeled my house and this is the reason for the high debt to credit ratio. OK paying the payments is not a problem at all, I will never be late with a payment. So if I stop using my cards completely and just pay them down monthly will dormant credit cards affect my score negatively?

    • Mona says:


      I just paid off $12k worth of credit card debt with just $400 left over and my score was at 733. The moment I paid off that last $400, my credit score went down to 724 and it said the reason it went down was due to my lack of variety of credit because the only accounts that had balances were student loans and my car note. With that said, I recommend keeping a small balance on a credit card to make sure you have a “variety of accounts” being utilized. I decided I would just use my one rewards credit card for Amazon and another rewards card for grocery shopping and gas, and making sure not to use more than 20% of the available credit on them. Hopefully that is helpful.

      • Nancy M. says:

        Thank you for your perspective. I also paid off credit cards to zero balance…three of them…and it affected my score negatively by 30 points. Great post!

        • J C Davis says:

          Same here. Paid off a lot bills by obtaining a loan to do so. Prior to doing so my credit score was 770, it has now dropped to 680. WOW!

          • RobbynB says:

            Same experience. Was trying to reduce my CC debt because I’m trying to purchase a house. Paid $4k off of a $6k debt and my score dropped 79 points. Who know….

  4. suzanne m says:

    How long does new credit stay listed as “new credit”?

  5. Gregory w. says:

    Yes I just got hit with the dormant credit cards But what to do now!…..

    • Liz P. says:

      Use your credit cards once every 5 months in order for credit card company to continue reporting to the bureaus, even if it is a small balance. Credit cards go dormant and stop reporting after 6 months of non-use. You want the credit card companies to continue reporting positive results to raise your credit scores from each credit bureau.

    • Rick says:

      I essentially don’t use credit cards. But to avoid them going dormant, I program one recurrent charge to each of the three I have. For example, one has Equifax, another Netfilx, etc. That way they are used every month and report a cero, cero, cero.

      • Pat says:

        Would also like to suggest that you take note of when any annual fees may be charged on a card that is already considered dormant. That way, you can pay the fee in the same billing cycle and avoid the “dormant card now used” hit.

  6. Bob G. says:

    When you deliberately set lower limits on your outstanding credit cards to minimize potential risk of a lost or stolen card, why should you be penalized. I personally have told the credit card companies I deal with not to raise my limit, unless I specifically request it. Furthermore, if you consistently pay the credit card debt when it comes due, then it might be more realistic to apply the 35% credit utilization ratio to the maximum of income vs. the aggregate of all credit card limits. This should also include new credit cards. In many cases, you get the new credit card to take advantage of special discounts.

    There is another issue I will raise relative to length of credit history. Given the extent of cyber crime that is going on, if a credit card company continues to get hacked, then it makes sense to change to another credit card company. So part of the litmus test should take this into account.

  7. Forrest O. says:

    This is a good article. I already know this information, but I am glad it was distributed for other to see.

  8. Herman@ says:

    Great and thanks for sharing

  9. Mary B says:

    I have two credit cards that i pay off in full each month. One just changed my credit limit to 5000.00 the other one is 3500.00 does this increase hurt my credit score to be higher? is it better to have a lower credit limit? i am trying to rebuild my credit

    • Tana says:

      The higher credit limit will help your score because you are using a smaller percentage of your available credit line. The main thing that is looked at is the percentage of your limit that you are using.

  10. Paul E. says:

    Is there no “credit” for not having a house note or car loan? lol

    This time next year I will be in a southern country riding my only vehicle. My Suzuki.

  11. Anonymous says:

    My credit scores remained the same for 3 yrs! Never changing after buying a new home, car & a couple of small limit cc’s. They said I needed large credit lines and a variety of credit. So I went and traded my car in for another, applied & received several new cc’s with great limits & rewards. I charged for Xmas & now almost all are PIF with the exception of one which I used to purchase some household items. 12 months same as cash was a good deal & will have that paid off in half the time. But after 3 months, my score remain in the 600’s. I act responsibly, make very large payments & no change. I did notice that when I disputed a Verizon account for $67.00 that it dropped my score by more than 10 points! I thought if we have incorrect info reporting, we had the right to dispute it? I am still confused on how I can do everything right & yet cannot get a decent score?

    • M. Hansley says:

      Paying credit cards off in full doesn’t always help your credit. Paying more than the minimum amount due will allow the merchant to report that you paid on time and will decrease your account balance by a percentage. Do that for six months and watch how your credit score increases. Do you have anything reporting negatively? Anything in collections that you can clean up?

      • Everett K. says:

        I’m new to building up my credit and I thought by paying off my cc’s in full helps my score,instead I see that paying the monthly amount plus extra for 6 months will help my score.I have learned so much from reading these comments and how to build up my credit score.I have two cc’s limit of $500 each and I wanted to ask how can I get the limit raised to $1,000.00 or more,how does the limit get raised?Do I ask or just keep paying like I have been.One more thing,I own my home paid $500.00 a month for 2 years and how can I get credit for paying the land contract as I never missed a payment.??Thank you so much for your time and help.

        • sgolcukluoglu says:

          Usually, when your credit score is calculated, the formula used takes your reported cc balance in to consideration. When this is reported as 0, the formula may consider it as you are not using this card, therefore the effects on the credit score will be less. There is something called $2.00 trick that you can search for on the internet. What this does is, you pay your balance in full, except leaving a $2.00 balance on your credit card. The reason you want it to be right around $2.00 is when your score is calculated, your Utilization plays a big role, which is your balance to your limit ratio. So what you want to do is you want the system to see that you are using the card, but get the lowest utilization percentage. If you leave 0 balance, that is 0% utilization that may trick the system to think you did not use your card at all. $2.00 balance will report as less than 1%, or 1% utilization which is higher than 0, but the possible lowest utilization, which in return can bring some significant score changes to you. Hope this helps.

      • Kyle W says:

        If you don’t pay to credit card iin full you get hit with a penalty for the interest for not paying it in full Why

    • Darnell says:

      You are aware that every time you apply for credit of any kind, that’s an inquiry, and it takes 4 points off your Beacon/Fico Score. The inquiries remain on your bureau for two years. If you purchase a car and your credits not great they shop you thru different banks and loan companies until they can get you financed. If you’re put thru five Banks, then that’s 20 pts off your score. You have to be careful.

      • Susan R. says:

        I thought that multiple inquiries in a short period of time (within 7 days) would not hurt your credit score if you were ultimately able to get the car loan. This is the case with me. The first payment has not come due yet, so the loan does not appear in my credit file. Will these multiple inquiries hurt me? Thank you!

        • Laura says:

          Not true! The car dealership checked my credit. Then the bank checked my credit. I went over my three inquiries, since I already had two inquiries. I was to believe by family that if you are buying a car the inquiries would stay one. This was because of car hunting. Didn’t happen that way for me. Lucky I went only to one lot.

  12. wondering says:

    I recently paid off a gas card that I had for a lot of years. I also closed the account for 2 reasons. 1. they have an annual fee,which is automatic. 2. My local gas station that used that card went out of business and there is none close to me.

    How do I get report this to the credit bureau and which one?
    How bad does closing this card impact my score?

    • TaylorZoo says:

      It changes your credit “history”. You want to keep old credit cards because it shows you have a long history of good credit, but if you have no way to use it then what are you going to do but close it. As for reporting it to the credit bureau it’s automatic, but sometimes can take up to 60 days to be reported.

    • Anonymous says:

      The closed account will remain on your credit reports for an additional ten years and is counted in your average of accounts for the ten years.

  13. lance says:

    I just got a loan for 600 dollats to help me commute back and forth to my new job. I was wondering hoew much that will impact my credit score until i fully pay it off? I went from 650 to 599 equifax. The main concern is with taking out this loan, how close am I to having bad credit before I am able to pay the amount back in full?

    • Allison G. says:

      The new loan lowered your credit score temporarily. Over the long run it should help your score as long as you make your payments on time.
      You could also look to open some credit cards such as “Barclays or FingerHut” it should be easy to get these cards. Charge a small amount on each and pay them down over a long period of time. This will help your score.After about a year ask for a “credit line increase” every increase will help your score as long as you don’t spend in excess of 20% of your limit on each card.
      As your score improves look for better cards to apply for but don’t close the old ones because it shows a good credit history. The longer the history the better. A good history stays with you for 10 years a bad one for 7.
      Check your reports from time to time and dispute anything negative on your report. This can also help.
      A mortgage loan and or a car loan can also help your score, but your score needs to be above 650 …. The higher the score the lower the interest rate and the lower the payment.
      Good luck

  14. lance says:

    Also I was wondering does it help your score to pay off more than your minimum payment every month on your credit card?

  15. Sandi says:

    After being with a credit card company for 30 years, they have continually raised my rate of interest and the annual fee. I have never been late, always stayed below the large amount of credit offered to me and was a part of member rewards. Since I no longer wish to pay their annual fees or agree to their raising interest rates, this will affect my credit? I closed this account out already, so how much will that affect my score?

    • sgolcukluoglu says:

      Hi Sandi, yes it will definitely affect your score, but how much damage it will do is based on everything else being reported on your report. I wish you would have sucked up the annual fee, apply for another card with nice welcome rates, but still keep your old card in your sock drawer 🙂 Anything and everything can be fixed, repaired in a credit report, but one thing that can not be changed is the time. A 30 year old account is excellent to have on your credit, but this will not be the end of the world for you. Having a 30 year old line of credit in your report, i will assume that you have a decent credit file, which in this case the affects may be minimal.

  16. ode to the financial gods says:

    I fully believe the credit racket is just that; a racket. If you dispute something that is wrong on your bureau, it kicks you in the head at least 10 pt. If you pay off your credit cards and not use them because you don’t need to, you get kicked in the head again for “dormant” credit. I think the whole shebang is a joke. I have a great score, and am very careful with my finances. I am a poster child for being a responsible credit line steward. Yet, the bureaus have their information incorrect and I get punished for it. It’s not like they’re being monitored either. These are PRIVATE companies holding your financial prowess in their hands and I fully expect them to either put my information out there fully correct or leave it alone. I loathe the faceless suits who tamper with my life but thanks to the bureaucrats, I am left with whatever they think is best for my life… go figure.

  17. shirley says:

    It would be nice to have answers to these questions right below them.

  18. Sandra M. C. says:

    in Feb 2015 I was talked into purchasing an expensive vehicle.. this man promised me in return for helping him he would shovel my driveway do yard work, take me out once a week for dinner, take me on rides, fix my apartment upstairs for rental, help me with my computer and do very many helpful things for me.
    instead he has never taken me out to dinner, did not help shovel my driveway, did not help with computer, never took me on rides with the new car and destroyed the apartment upstairs…
    he uses vulgar language to,me is rude, totally disrespects me and my life has become a hell..
    I work 40 hours a week at Home Depot as a cashier and I am finding it very difficult to make the monthly payments. He will not help me at all with the payments…I cannot sleep from worry because I know I made a huge mistake in trusting this man.
    I am 73 years old I have been to police and was advised to have vehicle repossessed..
    I feel I AM a victim and was totally scammed.
    if I stop monthly payments from being taken out of my account car will be taken back by dealer for default. What will this do to my credit?

    • Dee S. says:

      Kick that man to the curb…your peace of mind is more important than any credit in the world. Go to the dealership and tell them the situation that you bought the car against your better judgement and that you want to surrender it to them. Ask them what can you do, that you are trying to do the right thing and do not want this on your credit. Go without him of course, and ask them if you can transfer the title to him. If that is possible, then do it and get the car out of your hands and then get him out of your life!!!
      You should not be treated the way you are being treated specially after you helped someone. Go to a shelter for battered women and ask for someone to be there when you kick him out. May God be with you, you poor thing….

    • Carla V. says:

      Sandra, what kind of car is it? I might buy it from you. Then you’d be rid of the debt.

  19. Learning here too says:

    I enjoy the information being shared but where can I find the answers to really great questions everyone raised?

  20. CURIOUS says:

    I had good credit, but my income ration vs debts was on the low side with all the credit I had open. I paid down and off some credit cards and loan to buy a house. Got the house and reapplied for home credit cards to furnish and fix up the house. two years into the house, my credit went downhill. lost the second income I was relying on and trusted into a modification that apparently was fraudulent. Lost my job of almost twelve years and end up settling on the balance with my creditors using my severance. Now I’m doing okay and trying to rebuild. Why do you have to be penalize for a bad situation even when you’ve started over and almost back to the point when you were carrying good credit?

  21. jose z r. says:

    I’m confused now I went to arrons furniture to build my credit I never had a late payment and I just payed it off why did my score go down? I also checked my inquiries and there’s nothing new

    • sgolcukluoglu says:

      The answer is in your question 🙂 You paid it off. Those loans are usually considered Installment loans, which you have a set amount of payment amount and set number of payments, and installment loans help increase your credit score if they are paid off over time. If you get a car loan for 60 months, and you pay it off in 6 months, it will actually hurt your credit rather than helping it. If you want it to help you increase your score, then you want to pay them overtime, and as your balance keeps going down slowly, your score will increase slowly over time.

  22. Susan says:

    Credit scores should also be free at least one time per year.

  23. Ed J says:

    If you pay off all of your credit cards, how soon does it reflect in your credit score?

    • sgolcukluoglu says:

      You should see your score increase as soon as they are reported to the credit bureaus by your creditor. I Recommend leaving just a few dollars balance on at least one of them. It seems to be better to have less than 1% utilization reported rather than 0% utilization.

  24. Mike L. says:

    Learned the hard way
    .appreciate all the questions. HELPS me out.my game plan is paying all the credit cards off. Need help to make sure I’m right
    Going with interest.Going to pay 3 cards off
    Going to work on biggest loan. And pay $200 a month towards interest. Then paying smaller ones. Once again. Due I go interest.makes more sense
    Please comment 5 my situation. God bless

    • TaylorZoo says:

      Actually its better to pay off smaller loans/credit first and then after you pay that off you go to the next lowest and apply what you paid to the first one on to the second one and so forth. For one you feel a sense of accomplishment in paying one off and then as you pay them off you pay them off faster and faster because you’re putting previous accts payments onto the next. It was a great way for me to pay off all my debt. Now just have a car and home mortgage will small balances on a few credit cards. Also don’t close any older, high limit accounts because that improves credit history and Credit utilization.

  25. Mike B. says:

    Great information guys, my scores are 733,734, and 763.
    The method of $2.00 utilization is new to me…..I love it and will use it myself.
    What I have share is. A) debt to income ratio, B) Ontime payments (set it up as auto pay if posible) C) use all 3 buckets if posible examp. Mortgage/Installment (Do not carry a balance of more than %50 note this is calculating your total revolving bucket ALL CARDS. also keep in mind a quick fix is to hedge the bucket by establishing a relationship with another institution, I prefer Credit Unions. and Revolving bucket dont create new lines of credit or close old ones. Try to only deal with Institutions credit cards only if posible.

  26. Denise N. says:

    I have been trying to improve my credit score and it never seems to go up. I have numerous inquiries on my credit report due to purchasing a car and they ran every bank available without my permission! So that is my fault? According to the credit bureaus I get penalized for something I was totally unaware was happening. I assumed they would run threw one bank only but no! I didnt realize they did this until i checked my credit report. When inquiries fall off your report how much of an increase can be expected as they fall off?

  27. Michael E says:

    I believe in paying my account on time and more than the minumin payment and building my credit history on time .

  28. Gina says:

    I had learned that it is better to not close your oldest credit card based on the date because that is where “credit history” begins. At least, I know what it is and I’m maintaining that card with early payments/more than the minimum due or making one lump sum when it’s below $200. I keep the balance low or at zero for short periods of time. I am very focused on improving my credit scores. I am happy that my behavior with my credit cards is reflected in my score going up and increased available credit on some cards. This article describes everything that can improve your credit. Wish I had known this earlier in life but I’m definitely teaching my daughter. My next step is having fewer cards and keep ones with low Annual Percentage Rates.

  29. MP says:

    I took out another credit card to increase my credit available vs debt owing. The credit card is showing on my report but there has been no credit increase. How long will this take.

  30. brandy says:

    I have a delinquent federal student loan that I am paying the balance this month under $500. I have 2 utility bills I am working with the collection agency to pay off in the next 30 days. And I have a listed repossion from my future ex husband for a car I co signed with him, and am working on low monthly payments on with the collection agency to avoid wage garnishment. I alos have a judgement against me that was turned over by the court but has not been corrected and shows the original judgement. My score has never been above 670 but is currently 534. Will these actions improve my score once paid off. I also have a car payment in wonderful standing. No mortage payments no open credit cards. Alot of these negative accounts happened during or after my marriage failing and I want to rebuild my credit.

    • TaylorZoo says:

      Sorry for your misfortune. Unfortunately this also happened to my husband on his first marriage and sorry to tell you this is going to be on your credit for years. The collection agency reports will be there for at least 2 years “after” you pay the balance. The repossession will be there at least 7 possibly 10 years, but sometimes the collection agency will put voluntary relinquishment if requested, but that is difficult to get (doesn’t hurt to ask). Then you only have to deal with it for the 2 year collection agency rather then 7-10 years for repossession. You might want to look into getting a credit card. Preferably high limit. Usually your bank, any bank, credit union. With your score it might be difficult. Even a small limit department store, retail store, finger hut, or similar would be an option to start building good credit. Even a high interest rate credit card with a small credit limit is eventually going to help increase your score. It all just takes time. You want to develop a good credit history to parallel the bad history. Always keep credit card balance at 20% because it increases credit utilization, but never more then 35% utilization. Its going to take a long time, but in the long run at least you are rid of this guy and starting to think how to better your credit. Good Luck

  31. Kevin says:

    Im in the marine corps and I get out in a year my car loan interest rate is 16 something if I sell my car would that count as paying it off and boost my credit score.

  32. Kimmie says:

    About three and half years ago I had a good job and perfect credit, but I lost my job due to the company I work for 35 years letting me go. I had two mortgages and also credit card payments. I was blessed with a good realtor who had sold one of my houses to a short sale and the other house the mortgage was paid and released by the mortgage company because they weren’t able to gain a profit due to conditions of the area where the house was located. So I am concern because I have only one credit card payment to make and I open a line of credit with a furniture store last year and paid off the credit thinking that it would up my score but it went from 694 to 726. I feel like some of the people commenting on really trying to do the right thing and stay out debt but I am just finding out that you have to keep the accounts that you have open and active. I was trying to be sensible about my credit because I no longer make the same income as I did before, and I want to build my credit back up and in good standing. Although I can say I feel truly blessed because It could have been worst due to the situation on how things came about, still I know that my God was looking out for me. So I need to focus on how I can regain great credit in the very near future because credit for me says a lot about who you are and what can be achieved when you have great credit it’s very important factor about the choices we have and also the lifestyle of how we want to live.

  33. Phyllis says:

    I only have one “negitive” that could possibly be hurting my credit which is in the mid 700’s. I do not have a mortgage history; however; I do own my own home which has no mortgage and never did. It is completely paid off. Is there some way I can reflect this on my credit report to bring my score up?

  34. Jose says:

    If a credit card company closes one of my credit cards due to inactivity, will it affect my credit score?

    • Meme says:

      Yes, it will affect your credit score.I had a creditcard company to close one of my acounts because I wasn’t using my credit card and my credit score dropped twenty points.

  35. MONICA D says:

    Just a thought for those of you who are ACTIVELY paying down their debt but worried about your SCORE… If your goal is to pay CASH for your “things” in life (which is a GREAT plan), I dont know why people are worried about their scores!!! Last time I checked if you went in to pay CASH for a used car, they dont check your score!!! CASH IS KING! And kudos to those who are working towards that and those who are already there! THE GOAL IS TO NEVER NEED A SCORE AGAIN!!! =)

    • gpm says:

      In today’s society you need a decent credit score unless you live your life entirely off the “grid”. Credit scores are run for more than buying a car, or opening up a credit card account. You need a decent score to rent an apartment that is owned by a company, even private owners want a credit score of 700 or more. Employers run a credit score on prospective employees as part of the application process to see how they handle money which is a trait that is admired. You need a decent score for insurance rates, regardless if you pay in cash. CASH is KING I will agree with you there, but knowing when NOT to use your cash is important. Therefore having a decent credit score should be a priority in today’s society.

  36. Priscilla says:

    I have fair credit I want to build my credit I have to installment loans and that’s it. I also want to know if I can erase paid in full collections or negative accounts on my report?

    • Allison says:

      Yes, you can try… Dispute all negatives on your credit report. Some will come off and some will not.
      Do this a few times and it should help some. But 7 years from the last payment made is about average time it takes for negatives to fall off your report. 10 years for good things 7 years for bad.
      Never pay collections unless they agree in writing to remove the negative debt from your report.
      If you make any payment at all it starts the clock over on the bad debt. Some times it’s best to just let the clock run out on those things.
      Applying for a couple of credit cards can help build your credit. Get them but don’t exceed 20% of the credit limit or it hurts your score. Pay them on time and ask for a limit increase after about a year. All this will help.

  37. Jenabi M. says:

    Hi, I am new in the country and i just purchased a car from one Agency, they offered me finance the car i said ok so they get me the approval and i took the car now, i noticed in my report there are 11 hard impact factors because of the car loan and these impacts because of some of the banks reject my request which the deal submit to them without my approval. My question how much time it will take to get rid of the affect of these impacts ? please advise

  38. jmnice says:

    who oversees the credit reporting company for mistakes and violations of the fair credit act?

  39. Archie M. says:

    I’ve had an account and had 1 late payment over 5 yrs. Considering the length of time the account was open, and payments on time except 1 late payment why does this stay in your history so long. This one instance is no indicator of being late in the future.
    I’m told that I must maintain 30% balance of credit cards. I have three credit cards each with balance less than $400. This means I’ll always have to maintain a balance of $280 in each. By paying the minimum each month, I’ll be relieved of that debt, yet I must keep spending money to maintain a balance. That being said, I’ll never be able to zero a debt out, and consequently forever be in debt. Consumer shouldn’t be penalized for paying off debts. I understand this doesn’t show a payment history, but at the same time it does shows some responsibility of one paying their debts and not continually maintain a debt. Mathematically, ridding some debt should improve your debt/income ratio. This being said, how does that work for someone applying and obtaining their first card or loan when they have no credit history? What criteria must they meet if they have sufficient income?

  40. Christen says:

    I was just wondering if it hurt you to actually USE over 20% of your cards? I pay off my cards every month, just leaving a $2 balance but I use way more than that. I have a reward card so I pay everything with that and just pay it down to $2 each month. For example if my limit is $2,000 and I use $4,000 of that each month. I never go over the limit but I make payents throughout the month. I cannot figure out why my Equifax credit score is not going up and I recently saw on my Equifax report that it shows payments made $2,960 but balance of $2 so it is really keeping track of what I spend. I am just wondering if I should only USE less than 20% as well? Thank you!

  41. Laborne says:

    Great education on how to maintain good credit. I should have read about credit reporting a long time ago. That would have avoided the many bad choices I made which as a result messed up my credit. I am now beginning to get on the right track with all the great advice posted here.

  42. Elaine says:

    Does the employment information affect your score, I noticed it shows incorrect information I have been at the same place for 10 years but it shows me changing jobs ever few years.

  43. Les says:

    Should I pull my FICO score or just the credit score from the 3 agencies?

  44. Hatch says:

    I have 3 line of credit loans but my credit stays the same what can I do to boost my credit score.

  45. jimmy says:

    I pay all my cards to a zero balance each month.i ussualli run about 2 pct. does this help or hurt. theirs about 6 cards I use monthly. I have a total of 10.6 years never late and home is paid for but I cant brake 697????

  46. Dan says:

    My AMEX Credit Card is being discontinued. I have been approved to a different AMEX card. Will them closing the discontinued card (no fault of my own) negatively impact my credit score?

  47. Broddy says:

    My fiancé thinks that is he keeps getting new credit cards that offer 0% for 15-24months and transferring credit will help us and save us money while in between jobs and I’m going back to finish my nursing school. How does the few extra credit cards at 0% on our credit effect our credit scores when we first open them and have already car, home, and 3 other credit cards on our credit report?

  48. Pitso says:

    Can you please explain the term credit behavior to me.

  49. Darrel says:

    This may help some users …. I have a credit card that I like to use for as many purchases as possible so I can collect miles for travel. At the same time I don’t want too high of a utilization rate which would ding my credit. I know that particular credit card account closes on the 25th of every month so I charge everything to that card and, on the 22nd or 23rd I pay the full balance due — before the statement closes on the 25th. So when the statement is issued my available credit is always at least 95% of my total credit. I then make a second payment when I get my bill, paying the account in full. So I don’t pay interest, I get my mileage and I keep a low utilization rate even though at times my card may be charged up close to the limit —- at least temporarily. But this does require to make 2 payments / month vs 1 to the credit card company.

  50. Debbie V-M says:

    My husband and I routinely use far more than 35% of our credit limit monthly but pay off our bills in full every month as well. How will this affect our credit rating?

    • Uncle Sam says:

      By paying your balance in full every month should positively affect your credit rating. However, this is possible only if the credit bureaus receive that info. What do I mean?

      Whatever you do with your credit line (have a balance, making on time payment, paying complete balance, etc) the credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, don’t know this until your creditor send that information to them.

      So when you pay your balance in full, Equifax for example, will know this when your creditor send them that info. In most cases I know, this is done after your monthly statement is out. Most creditors will send an update to your credit file within few days after your monthly statement is out.

      So when you make a payment of your credit balance, do it before your statement is out. So that the reduction in your balance will reflect in your statement. Don’t wait until your statement comes out before you make a payment. Make the payment before the statement is out. The information on the statement is what will be reported to your credit file with the credit bureaus for the next 30 days. That is the same routine every 30 days.

      Your credit line I’m sure comes with a payment due date each month. In most cases your statement for that month comes out few days after your payment due date. So make your payment on or before your payment due date and don’t utilize your credit line until your statement is out if you want that payment in full you’ve made to reflect on your statement and credit report.

      Another tip. Making a payment before your statement is out will reduce the interest your pay on your purchase or balance.

      I hope this helps.

  51. Benjamin says:

    I found out that the best use of your CC is having 7%-10% debt on it, this will give you the best score each month. When I had 400 on it witch was below 35% (2000 credit line) I went down 28points… Also carefull they pull your credit when ever they want, mine gets pulled from the 28th to the 16th so from that date I can’t use it

  52. Monica L says:

    How often do you update my credit score?

  53. Isabel says:

    I paid off both of credit cards yesterday. Will that negatively or positively impact my score?

  54. Patti says:

    I paid off all credit cards and score is 815. I want to find out how I should eliminate some of these credit cards, which I suppose indicate access to all those credit card cash availability, but thought less interest cards would be wiser. Then as needed interest rates lowest better. Any suggestions?

  55. Ron says:

    too easy

  56. Robin P. says:

    lift my fraud alert on credit report. This is rediculous.
    I place this alert and now I have to give blood to get it removed!

  57. Me says:

    I am trying to rebuild my credit and I only have a car lease payment and one credit card. I was told that a car loan payment does NOT count towards your credit and that you need a SECURED credit card to count towards the credit score. Is this true?

  58. Sandra J says:

    almost 3 years have gone by since I had a 18,000 dollar credit balance…I am not a genius with these types of things….I have gotten my debt down to near 3000 and my score is still fair…..I have paid more of my debt payments when I can…I have only one credit card which has been paid but will my credit score go up a lot more after my debt is totally paid off or do I have to take out another credit card outside of the only one I have. seems like the score is not going up as fast being I paid almost the total amount of my debt. why is that? is it because its under a debt management company? or should I do something else to increase my score.?

  59. Mary H says:

    How do balance transfers effect credit ratings. If I accept an offer from an active card in good standing with 0 interest for 12 months and transfer a portion from another card will this have a negative effect on my credit. I currently have an excellent rating but do not want to do anything that will effect my rating.

  60. bob says:

    Do not not pay the crooks any mind

  61. Dena H. says:

    We were going thru a loan modification due to the VA was goi g thru our neighborhood, which was pre-dominately military families, offering a lower
    APR percentage rate, no closing costs, and a quick closing on the loan. We were making our payments on time and kept making them up until the point they told us not to make any additional payments because they were close to having the final paperwork done, per the VA representatives the total processing time to do the entire loan would take 2 months, when it actually took from October 2013 to January 2014, due to an employee working on our loan kept losing our paperwork. We kept calling concerning when the loan would be done, and that we didn’t want it to affect our credit score,, well apparently we we getting lip service, because guess what? We took a huge hit on our credit report even though she pro.ised she would take care of it, and remember the closing costs they miraculously showed up in the loan later as a hidden cost. I guess same old story, screw the GI Joe, a guy that’s served his country for 26 years, 21 years of marriage, and gone from home 10 years due to deployments!

  62. Geri R says:

    My credit score is going down each month during the last six months. I have been paying off creditors to get budget ready for a new home, however unsure of why the credit score is not going up. I have been paying off accounts such as installment loans and 2nd mortgage which actually close on their own. Could this account for the decrease in score??

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