don't open or apply for any new credit if you have enough accounts open. you can estimate it what it will be on some sites.
Everytime you check your credit score, apply for credit, your credit score drops a bit.
After being in lending for years, I will tell you what I have seen on the credit reports that boast the 800+ scores.
First off, yes, pay your bills on time, that's a given. No, paying your utility bill late will not affect it. Not paying it at all will hurt you.
Second, you will need at least two installment accounts with long and on time payment histories such as mortgages and auto loans.
Next you should have at least three revolving accounts which are credit cards and lines of credit. You MUST have minimal balances compared to the limits. The higher the limit, the better. The only way that could hurt you is if you had extremely high limits on numerous accounts and the lender feels that you have too much available credit that you run the risk of over extending yourself. That will only happin in a mortgage situation where an underwiter closely examines your file. You will still have a great score, even if you were in that situation.
A great credit score isn't achieved overnight. It takes years of on time payment history to really have a top notch score, but these factors listed are crucial to get to that level.
No, when you check your own score it does not affect it at all. Do not listeb to those that say that. Yes, when you apply for credit, it will drop slightly, but it will be temporary and hardly significant unless you are purchasing a home or refinancing a home. That is the only loan product that has very slim margins between the rate tiers and a small change could affect that. If you own your home and have no plans on purchasing or refinancing a home within the next six months, then by all means shop around and apply for credit. You cant be scared to shop around for the best rate on your car loan or credit cards. Use the good credit score that you have built to your advantage.
The worst information is misinformation. Checking your own credit score will NEVER impact your score. That is your information made available to you by law, you can be charged but not penalized for it.
An inquiry from a 3rd party when applying for credit will affect your score. There is a big difference.
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