By Stefanie Gordon
We often see doomsday articles about what can hurt or temporarily ding your credit score: Making late payments! Having a high credit utilization ratio! Applying for a debt consolidation loan!
But there are also plenty of things that won’t affect your credit score. In this article, we’ll go over 12 things that won’t negatively impact your credit.
Things that won’t hurt your credit
Checking your credit report
Checking your credit report won’t hurt your credit. You can check your report as many times as you’d like without damaging your score. Just make sure you’re doing it through a reputable party.
Losing your job
Losing your job and reliable income may prevent you from being approved for a loan/credit card, but it won’t be reflected in your credit score directly. Obviously if your loss of income impacts your ability to pay bills on time, your score can suffer.
Your cellphone provider may take a look at your credit score before approving you for service, but they don’t typically provide your info to the credit bureaus.
Your credit score can dictate what interest rates you’re offered, but your interest rates won’t influence your score. Paying high-interest rates will likely be bad for your finances, but they won’t ding your credit.
A soft pull, or soft inquiry, is a credit check that’s done without you applying for credit, e.g. if you check your credit score.
Overdrawing your bank account
Overdrawing your bank account can cost you money, but it won’t hurt your credit assuming you pay your overdraft transactions prior to them going to collections.
Payments to insurance companies
Insurance companies will use your credit score to make decisions about whether to approve you and what your premiums are, but they won’t report your payments to the credit bureaus.
Paying your rent likely won’t affect your credit, unless you fall behind and get evicted (which will hurt your score).
Not paying your credit card balance in full
Your credit score won’t take a hit from you carrying a small monthly balance. However, carrying a high balance can result in you having a high credit utilization ratio, which can hurt your credit score.
Disputing credit report errors
Disputing errors you find on your credit report won’t hurt your score. Don’t worry, the credit bureaus aren’t petty and vindictive.
Paying off installment loans
Paying off an installment loan, such as a car loan or mortgage, doesn’t hurt your score. In fact, responsible installment loan payments show that you can manage many types of credit.
Not using your credit cards
Not using your credit cards doesn’t hurt your score. However, if your cards are closed due to inactivity, that can hurt your credit score since it will shorten the overall age of your credit accounts and potentially raise your credit utilization ratio.
See? Not everything will negatively affect your score. Go forth and spend wisely. By maintaining positive financial habits like always paying on time, your credit score will likely be just fine.
Stefanie Gordon is a content strategist with over a decade of professional writing experience. She is a former financial journalist who has spent the last several years working in digital marketing. She specializes in content strategy and creation for large and small businesses in finance and technology.
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