Your credit score is important! Keeping it high will allow you to take out loans in the future. Here are some tips explaining why the following actions are SAFE or HARMFUL to your credit score.
Checking my credit report: SAFE!
Checking your own credit report will not hurt your credit rating because that is considered a “soft” inquiry. Plus, you are entitled to check your own credit report under federal law. (A “hard” inquiry in your credit file is a record of any application for credit that you made.)
Getting married to someone with bad credit: SAFE!
Your credit score or credit rating will not suffer simply because you get married to someone with bad credit. By maintaining separate credit accounts for things like credit cards and car loans, a spouse with good credit can keep his or her credit rating from being impacted by the other spouse with a poor credit history. But, if you take on joint financial obligations, such as a mortgage, and the bill doesn’t get paid for any reason (including divorce), then that will impact both parties’ credit scores.
Renting a car with a debit card: HARMFUL!
Believe it or not, renting a car with a debit card can hurt your credit. Why? Doing so can trigger a “hard” inquiry. In the fine print of many auto rental agreements is a provision giving the car company the right to pull your credit report if you pay with a debit card. Who knew?!
Paying in full a high credit card balance: SAFE!
Paying off a high credit card balance will not hurt your credit score. On the contrary, it should boost your credit score. According to FICO, 30% of your FICO credit score is based on the amount of credit card debt you have outstanding. Lowering your credit card debt generally increases your credit score.
Opening a new store credit card to get a discount: HARMFUL!
Opening a new retail store credit card can lower your credit score, mainly because the application will generate a “hard” inquiry on your credit report. So the next time you’re out shopping and a nice lady behind the counter tries to sign you up for a store credit card so you get a discount on your purchase, just politely say, “No thanks.”
Disputing a credit card bill with the credit bureaus: SAFE!
Simply disputing a credit card bill should not have any impact on your credit score. However, you should be aware that when a dispute is under review, that credit account is effectively “removed” from consideration in the credit-scoring process.