Credit damage and unpaid bills

While many Americans are able to seamlessly budget and avoid credit damage, others struggle to form habits that could successfully keep them from overlooking a debt payment.

An unpaid debt no matter how small or large could do big damage to a credit score. According to Fair Issac, the company that pioneered credit scoring with its FICO score, this could cost consumers up to 100 points, The Wall Street Journal reports. As a result, consumers could see higher interest rates on everything from credit cards to insurance policies.

"I've watched medical debt entirely sabotage borrowers with great credentials," Rodney Anderson, who heads Supreme Lending, a mortgage bank based in Plano, Texas, told the news source.

These infractions are only supposed to stay on a credit report for seven years. However, creditors and the credit bureaus may make errors, which may result in a consumer possessing a bad credit score for an extended period of time.

Consumers who find such an error may want to contact a credit repair company. By working with a professional, individuals can investigate or repair bad credit and ensure they aren't penalized by errant charges.