If you think you have a good credit history, but you’ve never checked it, you may be in for a nasty surprise. It’s not just keeping up with your payments and being responsible with your loans that affects your credit score, there are some ways it damages it that really surprise you. Here are ten of those surprising things that could lower your credit score by a few points.

1. Have a company credit card

If your employer has given you a company credit card, that could be affecting your personal credit score. Most corporate cards are now in joint name and that means you are jointly responsible for the credit. It also means that if your business pays your bills late, it will have an impact on your credit score.

2. Use your debit card to rent a car

If you pay a deposit on a rental car with your debit card, then the car rental company will probably run a credit check on you. Each credit check run on you will deduct one point from your credit score.

3. Paying a parking ticket late

Nobody likes getting a parking ticket and we like paying them even less. That is why so many people leave until the last moment to pay them. If you leave it too late, the debt will go to a debt recovery company and that will affect your credit rating.

4. Take credit “buy now, pay later”

The incredible deals you can get on furniture, where you pay nothing for twelve months and then no interest for the next three years, could also be hurting your credit score. It sounds like you have a maxed out line of credit against which you are not making any payments for a year.

5. Forgetting to return a library book

Even something as simple as a good book from the library could go on your credit history. If you forget to pay a library fine, local authorities are quick to transfer it to a debt collection company as well, and that will take more points off your credit score.

6. Waiting for the reminder letter about utility bills

Gas and electric companies are pretty quick when it comes to late payments. If you slip up and stop paying them for too long, you’ll get a letter from a debt collection company and that’s another hit to your credit score.

7. Pay off a loan early

Even paying off a loan early can look bad on your credit history. When you pay off a debt early, you save some of the interest, but it can look like you didn’t repay all that you borrowed.

8. Underuse a credit card

Lenders want to see that you use credit wisely and manage your debt responsibly. If you have available credit but never use it, you’re still using some of your available credit, and there’s no history of your ability to manage credit if you never use the credit you do have available. It’s better for your credit rating to use a credit card and pay off the balance monthly.

9. Ask about loans

Doing too many loan inquiries or getting loan quotes will also take a few points off your credit score. In fact, any hard credit check you get will lower your credit score for a period of two years, and that includes getting a new mobile phone, too.

10. Dispute an item on your credit card

If you dispute an item on your credit card statement and your lender takes the time to investigate, it will still be an unpaid debt against your name and could still hurt your credit score.

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