Before you read any further DO NOT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS

This guide is written as a roadmap of what not to do if you want to build, maintain or increase your credit score.

SCREEN READER VERSION (CLICK TO OPEN) +
  • Continually ask for a credit limit increase, potentially dropping your score by as much as 10 points per inquiry.
  • Borrow using your cards cash advance feature, which will cost you interest charges of 30% yearly, instead of the normal purchase rate of 15%-25%.
  • If you don’t have enough money, apply for multiple new cards and max them out as soon as you are approved.
  • Make sure your borrowing is as close to your credit limit as possible, causing your score to gradually decrease over time.
  • Apply for new cards as often as possible, called a hard inquiry, lowering your score by 5-10 points for each new card.
  • Borrow more money than you can pay back in 3 months, leaving a black mark on your credit record for 7 years and dropping your score by 25% or more.
  • Transfer debt from one card charging you a normal interest rate to one where you will be charged a penalty rate as high as 30% for not paying at least the minimum balance every month.
  • Borrow more with your card than you can afford to pay back in 30 days, triggering interest charges.
  • Filing for personal bankruptcy just to screw someone you owe money to, making it impossible for you to borrow money for at least the next two years.
  • Fail to pay your rent on time even though you have the cash to do so. New scoring models include rent payment history.