4 Ways You Could Hurt Your Credit Score

The exact equation for figuring out how a credit score is calculated may be a mystery, but it is fairly common to know how you can go about repairing your score, such as making your payments on time and decreasing your balances. Along with those solutions, you should also be aware that opening up too many lines of credit in a short period of time and missing payments can hurt your score. While these are some of the most common ways your credit can be negatively affected, there are a few other instances that could be doing harm, such as:

Forgetting to fill out a change of address form
When you're moving, you probably have all your boxes packed and the move-in date set, but one thing you shouldn't forget is telling the U.S. Postal Service about your upcoming relocation. This could result in you missing important documents, such as credit card statements or bills. Without notification from your creditors or utility companies, you might not handle a payment, resulting in your credit score being affected.

Unpaid library fines
Mishandling paying a library fine that is only a few dollars may not seem like a big deal, but libraries are starting to crack down on this problem. Budgets are getting a little sparse for community services like libraries, so they want to get repaid for late returns and get their resources back as soon as possible. They will then send your unpaid fines to collections agencies. Not only will this hurt your credit score, but it can also make paying your debts more difficult, as collection agencies will add their own additional fees.

Late speeding and parking tickets
A parking ticket can be an annoying fee to deal with, but governments, whether city or county, are persistent in getting paid for these violations. They will add on additional fees if you are late in paying back these fines, plus they could send your debt to collections, which will hurt your credit score.

Not making minimum credit card payments
Being late on your credit card payment will hurt your score, but if you don't pay the full amount, it could do more harm to your credit. For instance, if you agree to only pay 75 percent of the current balance, the amount you didn't pay will be counted as a charge off – debt that is not collected and is written as bad debt – on your credit report. Finding yourself in this situation can greatly affect your credit score, so make sure you are in constant contact with your lender to deal with the debt.