credit scores and reportsDo you have good credit scores? If so, you probably work hard to keep them intact. Having high scores can help you get approved for new lines of credit, including credit cards, auto loans and mortgages. But having bad scores will keep you from getting the things you want most. To help you avoid some common mistakes, here are some tips from FreeScore.

In “Why Bad Credit Scores Happen to Good People,” the experts at FreeScore examine some of the seemingly harmless activities responsible for damaging credit.

The article cites a recent MSN Money article with plenty of insight into bad credit behaviors. Have you done any of these things in recent months?

  • Close a credit card account – If you love to shop but tight on money, cancelling your credit card may seem like a wise move. However, you may actually be hurting your credit. 15 percent of your score is determined by the length of your credit history, so cutting ties with the card you’ve used since college could do more harm than good.
  • Opening a department store card – Visit any mall these days and you’re sure to be bombarded by offers for store cards and credit cards. In exchange for signing up, stores will generally offer some sort of discount on your first purchase. While this may sound appealing now, signing up for a new card isn’t worth the risk. New card applications will initiate a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your credit scores. If you’re really interested in opening a new line of credit, it may be better to sign up for a real credit card with more rewarding incentives.

Don’t let a few simple mistakes hurt your credit scores. Sign up for the Power of 3 from FreeScore and keep track of your three credit scores and reports. Even though you’re concerned about protecting your credit, other people may not be so obliging. You need to make sure you’re the only one benefiting from your credit. As a result, the Power of 3 also provides you with 24/7 credit monitoring and automatic alerts to notify you if suspicious activity is detected on one of your accounts. These services will help prevent identity theft, which could wreak havoc on your credit scores.

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