Most people are aware that not paying their bills on time and opening up a bunch of lines of credit at once can hurt their credit score. However, there are some not-so-obvious things that people – who may otherwise be diligent about protecting their credit rating – may do that can end up hurting your credit. If you are trying to improve your credit score or even just maintain it where it’s at, it’s important that you are aware of the following practices that could damage your credit:
- Ordering cable TV – Some cable companies will perform hard inquiries on your credit before letting you set up a new line of service with them. Although a single hard inquiry on your credit may only ding your credit score a bit, a lot of these inquiries could cause more significant damage (unless these inquiries are the result of looking for the best loan rates).
It’s crucial to note, however, that the cable company must have your authorization to perform such hard credit inquiries; therefore, if you don’t want the inquiry done because, for example, you already have had a handful of them done recently, you can deny the request (and possibly work out another solution to setting up your cable).
- Checking your credit score more than twice a year – Just as hard inquiries on your credit can damage your credit rating, so too can repeatedly checking your credit score. As a rule of thumb, to avoid damaging your credit in this manner, try not to run an official check on your credit score (or have such a check run on your credit by a third party) more than twice per year.
Keep in mind, however, that requesting a copy of your credit report will typically not hurt your credit rating and that you are legally entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus once a year.
For additional information regarding odd practices that may damage your credit score, be sure to read the upcoming Part 2 of this blog.
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