The things that can damage your credit score might surprise you.


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The most common source of damage is a hard credit inquiry, when a lender or card issuer requests a credit check as a precaution to see whether you are creditworthy. Some examples of instances that require an inquiry are when you apply for credit or want to take out a home loan.

Hard inquiries drop your score by a few points and remains on your credit report for two years. Soft inquiries on the other hand, don’t affect your credit score, and these inquiries are not usually made by financial institutions, but rather, landlords or retailers that want to check your credit.

Unfortunately, hard inquiries are often brought on by small, benign actions, such as when you close or open an account or apply for an account at a credit union. Often the impacts of inquiries can be avoided, however, by calling ahead before taking action and asking if an inquiry will need to be made.

For example, renting a car seems innocent enough. However, some rental car companies run hard inquiries on your credit, such as Dollar Rent-a-Car. It always pays to contact an institution directly to get information on how they operate and the procedures they have in place.

To find out 10 shocking things that hurt your credit score, click to begin the slideshow.


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