take control of your credit

Even if you’re paying all your bills, you could be doing damage to your credit score without even realizing it. Here are a few things that may secretly chip away at your credit score:

Unpaid Fines
Parking, traffic tickets, and library fines don’t just disappear if left unpaid. Just like your bills, they’re sent to collection agencies if you don’t pay up. That could impact your credit score as much as 100 points.

Renouncing credit
The more varied and lengthy your credit history is (auto loan, mortgage, credit cards, etc.), the more data the credit bureaus have to determine your creditworthiness. If you forgo credit or close credit accounts as you pay them off, your credit score will take a hit.

Membership accounts
Failing to properly cancel memberships can haunt you. For example, many gyms make you jump through hoops to quit. It may seem easier to instruct your bank or credit card company to cease payments – don’t. The organization will see that as non-payment, report it to the credit bureaus, and send it to collections.

Your company card
Getting a company card often requires a “personal guarantee.” Essentially, you’re co-signing for the line of credit with your employer. That can have implications for your credit score – especially if your company doesn’t reliably make payments or you max out the card.

Retail financing
Retailers use 0% financing deals to drive sales on everything from TV’s to dining room furniture. 12 months of free money is a great deal, right? Not really… Your outstanding debt accounts for 30% of your credit score, so carrying a large balance for a year can be a big issue in the eyes of the credit bureaus.

With so many things influencing your credit score, it’s important to know how to maintain good credit. Be sure to contact your PERL mortgage adviser to find out how your habits impact your ability to buy your dream home.