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Some credit mistakes can be reversed quickly. Other seemingly small slip-ups can lead to full-fledged disasters. Mistakes that have long-running ripple effects hurt the most, says credit expert John Ulzheimer. Those batter your credit and stay on your credit record for years.
1. 𝓜𝓲𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓪 𝓹𝓪𝔂𝓶𝓮𝓷𝓽.
If you have a high score, going 30 days late can knock as much as 100 points off your score — and it stays on your credit report for seven years. The damage gets worse if you let the account slide to 60 days past due, 90 days past due or more.
2. 𝓡𝓪𝓲𝓭𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓻𝓮𝓽𝓲𝓻𝓮𝓶𝓮𝓷𝓽 𝓯𝓾𝓷𝓭𝓼 𝓽𝓸 𝓹𝓪𝔂 𝓭𝓮𝓫𝓽.
Almost half of Americans say they would not file for bankruptcy no matter how much credit card debt they had. Some even have tapped — or even emptied — retirement savings in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Retirement savings are typically protected in bankruptcy, but money already withdrawn cannot be recovered.
3. 𝓒𝓸-𝓼𝓲𝓰𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓪 𝓵𝓸𝓪𝓷.
Co-signing so a friend or relative can get credit is often a mistake. If the primary borrower doesn’t pay as agreed, it can leave both your relationship and your credit in tatters. Even if the borrower repays as agreed, remaining on the loan can limit your borrowing capacity. Before you co-sign, ask if you can be taken off the loan at some point.