Trash Your Credit Rating Faster than Bush’s Approval

George W. Bush needs a strong approval rating to get what he wants from Congress in much the same way you need a0000000000000000000000000000.png strong credit rating to get what you want from lenders. Bush wrecked his approval rating by a series of mistakes, errors, and inaccuracies – which is pretty much how you can wreck your credit rating! While Bush took five years, you can wreck your credit rating a whole lot faster if you aren’t careful.

9 ways to lower your Credit Rating

  1. Don’t pay your bills on time. Even a single payment that is more than 30 days late can lower your credit rating! Paying your bills on time, every time, will increase your credit rating. Consider using an online bill payment service to ensure your bills get paid on time every month.
  2. Don’t pay any bills at all! Your payment history is 35% of your credit score. If you ignore the bills, they have to go away at some point, right? Nope, your creditors will just send their collection agencies after you.
  3. Ignore creditor and collection agency contact requests. Your debts are obligations, but sometimes these is flexibility on rates and schedules if you talk to your creditors. Hide from them and not only will you miss out on a chance to negotiate, but virtually every business and organization from your public library to the city’s department of transportation will turn you over to a collection agency, and you could actually see your credit score drop because of an overdue book fine or unpaid parking tickets.
  4. Never review your credit report. Sure, it’s free – each of the three credit reporting agencies in the US (Experian, EquiFax, and TransUnion) are required to provide one free credit report upon request per year. And it’s easy – you can do it from your computer at work or from home. In fact, checking your credit report can alert you to any problems or inaccuracies with your credit, but a surprising number of Americans still don’t take advantage of it. Anyone looking to have good credit, and not wreck their credit, should check their credit score once a year and dispute all errors that are found to protect their score.
  5. Hold as many low limit credit cards as you can. Low limit credit cards show creditors that you can’t get a higher limit – a red flag for any creditor. If you’re not looking to ruin your credit account, it is a much better idea to build your credit limit using only a few cards with higher limits. Low limit cards are also much easier to max out, or just to use a high percentage of your credit, leading to the next way to ruin your credit! Of course you are better off with a larger list of credit sources reporting on you, so if you have nobody reporting other than credit cards (like a car loan, mortgage student loan etc) getting 3 or 4 is OK, as long as you can pay the bills.Credit rating
  6. Max out your credit cards – all of them! Pushing your spending to the limit of your credit cards is a great way to ruin your credit. The higher your debt is compared to your credit limit, the more proof that you can’t control your spending and that you’re a high risk for creditors. People who are not looking to wreck their credit keep their debt to credit ratio low, which can actually help your credit score!
  7. Close your long term credit accounts. The length of time that you hold credit accounts in good standing can positively affect your credit score, since they show that you are responsible. Even if you don’t use accounts, keeping them around can actually help your credit score.
  8. Apply for multiple credit cards at once. Creditors consider this “abnormal behavior” and a surefire sign that you are a credit risk. In addition, these credit card applications cause you to have a credit inquiry on your credit report. It is possible for each of these credit inquiries to make your credit score go down! This means that if you pick up a few store credit cards because you get discounts on purchases, you could actually be causing your credit rating to plummet! This is different from inquiries for mortgages and car loans – if you are looking for those types of loans, multiple credit inquiries within 14 days can only make your score go down once.
  9. Pay only the minimum credit card payment. Better yet, pay only half of the minimum payment! Paying the minimum amount shows creditors that you are overextended, and can reduce your credit score. As an added bonus, paying as little as possible on your credit card debt ensures that the credit card companies make as much money off of you as possible, as you continue to pay interest on your original purchase years after you bought it.

It is probably too late for Bush to turn his political fortunes around, but it is never too late to work on building your personal fortune. A strong credit rating is an important component. Please share your experiences with your credit rating or add any comments that you think would be helpful to others.

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