If you do not manage your debt wisely, your credit score will likely be negatively affected in several ways. This is what will happen to your credit score if you do not manage your debt wisely:
- Late Payments: Missing or making late payments on your loans, credit cards, or other debts can significantly harm your credit score. Payment history is one of the most significant factors in calculating your credit score.
- Increased Debt Levels: Carrying high debt levels relative to your credit limits (high credit utilization) can lower your credit score. This indicates to lenders that you may be overextended and a higher risk.
- Default or Collections: If you consistently fail to make payments on a debt, it could go into default or be sent to collections. Both of these events are very damaging to your credit score and can stay on your credit report for several years.
- Bankruptcy: If you declare bankruptcy, it can have a severe and long-lasting negative impact on your credit score. A bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years.
- Foreclosure or Repossession: If you have a mortgage or an auto loan and you face foreclosure or repossession due to non-payment, this can significantly damage your credit score.
- Hard Inquiries: Applying for too much new credit in a short period of time can result in multiple hard inquiries on your credit report. These can negatively impact your score because they may suggest you are seeking a lot of credit, which can be seen as a risk.
- Closing Old Accounts: Closing old credit accounts, especially if they have a long history of on-time payments, can also lower your credit score because it reduces your available credit and shortens your credit history.
It’s important to note that rebuilding a damaged credit score can take time and effort. Making consistent, on-time payments, reducing your debt, and avoiding new debt can help improve your credit over time. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report regularly to ensure its accuracy and address any errors that may be negatively affecting your score.