There are some common actions that contribute to knocking down your credit score a few points. These include missing your monthly payments, bankruptcy and running up your balance. Those are just a few factors that will drop a score down a considerable number of points, but there are many others as well. Here are a few surprising factors that will negatively affect your credit score:
Asking for a credit limit increase
Requesting an expansion of your credit limit may seem like a way to raise your credit utilization rate, but the short-term effects could drastically affect your finances. It could sink you further into debt, but it could also result in a hard inquiry on your report.
When asking for a credit limit increase, a lender will want to look at your credit report in order to make sure you are responsible enough to pay the debt back. The hard inquiry will drop your score down a few points. If you are thinking about asking for a credit limit increase, ask your lender whether this will result in a hard inquiry.
Getting a new cellphone
When purchasing a new cellphone or signing up for a plan, you may get a hard inquiry on your credit report. In this situation, a credit check for a phone purchase may depend on the provider, but ask before you make the purchase whether you will have your report looked at.
Not using your credit card
Choosing to not use your card may seem like a way to curb spending, but you are actually doing more harm than good. By not using your card, you will not be building up credit and your score will drop. If you are nervous about overspending, try limiting your credit card usage to small purchases that will not take up a considerable amount of your limit.
Unpaid parking tickets
A parking ticket can be expensive, but it can also impact the state of your credit. Sitting on an unpaid parking ticket will not only result in late fees, but you could get in trouble with creditors. Some cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C., are beginning to crack down on delinquent tickets by sending them to collections. By being sent to collections your score will drop and it may stay on your report for a number of years.