Six Surefire Ways to Destroy Your Credit

Avoid these six moves that will kill your credit.

Keep your credit healthy by avoiding these six credit-destroying moves:

  • Making late payments or missing payments. Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score, so if you don't make the minimum payment within 30 days of the due date, your score will take a hit. Don't pay within 60 days and you get hit again.
  • Maxing out your credit cards. Maintaining high credit card balances hurts your score. Keep your balances under 35 percent of their credit lines. So if you have a $1,000 credit card limit, keep the balance under $350.
  • Signing up for new credit cards. Whether you're being enticed with a free watch or retail discount, avoid opening multiple lines of credit in a short period of time.
  • Closing credit cards. The longer you've had your lines of credit, the better your score. So even if you're not using that 10-year-old credit card, it's in your best interest to keep it open.
  • Ignoring debts and fines. When you fail to pay back loans, miss rent payments or ignore parking tickets and the like, your information can be turned over to collection agencies, who have the power to hurt your credit.
  • Failing to monitor your credit report. Errors are not uncommon so make sure you get a free copy of your credit report each year from the three major credit reporting bureaus -- Equifax, TransUnion and Experian -- at www.annualcreditreport.com. Report mistakes and any fraudulent activity.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Real Estate Survival Guide: Seller's Checklist

Refer to this 10-step checklist to get you through the home-selling process.

Real Estate Survival Guide: Buyer's Checklist

Refer to this 10-step checklist to get you through the homebuying process.

Fresh News for 'Fixer Upper' Fans: Chip and Joanna to Open 'Hillcrest Estate' in Waco

Chip and Joanna Gaines announce their latest project — a beautifully restored colonial style home that will open as a vacation rental property.

25 Random Ways to Show Kindness

Tune your mind to all things kind.

Best Way to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Learn the best ways for painting kitchen cabinets.

5 Ways to Stop the Foreclosure Process

All is not lost once you get a notice of default! You still have some alternatives to stop the foreclosure process.

On TV

Fixer Upper

7am | 6c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beachfront Bargain Hunt

8pm | 7c

Caribbean Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

Hawaii Life

11pm | 10c

Hawaii Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Caribbean Life

12am | 11c

Caribbean Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

2am | 1c

Hawaii Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.