3 accounts that could hurt your credit score

Credit cards aren’t the only accounts that can hurt your credit score.

September 28, 2013 — — intro: If you ask most people what types of credit accounts can hurt your credit score, almost everyone will tell you that your credit cards have a huge impact. It’s true – credit cards impact credit scores (both negatively AND positively). Other accounts that impact your score that might generally come to mind are lines of credit, mortgages, and car loans.

But you might not realize that there are other types of accounts that could also impact your credit score. Here are three, and the impact they can have on your credit:

quick list: title: Text of utility bills:

Everyone has utility bills – electricity, water, phone, natural gas, etc. – but not everyone realizes that these bills can potentially impact your credit. Many utility companies report to the three major credit reporting agencies, but usually only after accounts have become delinquent, which means these bills will impact your credit if you don’t pay your bill in fully and on time each month. These accounts do not extend credit, so their presence on your report will not affect your debt usage (your credit limits versus how much of those limits you actually use). But they will report if you default on the account and don’t pay your bill, which impacts your credit score. Additionally, some utility companies may perform a credit check on you before providing service to you, which may increase the number of inquiries made, which will also impact your credit.

From Credit.com: How can I dispute an error on my credit file?

quick list:title: Student Loanstext:

College can be expensive, so luckily there are student loans to help pay for your education. But did you know that missing a student loan payment can potentially have a huge impact on your credit? Your student loans may not be considered a single loan on your credit report, even if you make a single payment each month to the repairer. Rather, they are reported by the disbursement you received each semester. So if you went to school for three years (six semesters) and took out student loans for each semester, you’re looking at six loans, not just one! Any late or missed payment on your student loan will impact your credit score. So when you graduate and need to start paying off your loans, be sure to make student loan repayment a priority!

From Credit.com: What is a bad credit score?

quick list:title: Medical expenses covered by insurancetext:

If you have medical insurance, you might sleep easier at night knowing you won’t have to pay a huge bill if you need to be hospitalized. However, what many people don’t realize is that they can end up with a credit-impacting medical bill (even if they have insurance). This can happen for a number of reasons – from clerical errors to hospital bills that exceed coverage limits. So if you have medical coverage, be aware of what it covers and what it doesn’t, and be sure to follow up diligently with the hospital to make sure the bill is covered by your insurance company.

From Credit.com: How can I get my free annual credit report?

Your credit score is based on information from many sources. Even if you think you know many of the top sources, make sure you’re not caught off guard by these three credit-impacting accounts. This is also why it is important to regularly monitor your credit score. Use a tool like Credit.com for free credit report card (to get your credit score each month as well as a breakdown of the components of your credit score) can alert you to problems with your accounts, so you can fix the problems and work on building stronger credit .

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

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