7 Ways Your Credit Score Can Go Down Fast

ways to ruin your credit scoreWant to know why your credit score is in the dumps?

You can destroy your credit score very quickly if you put your mind to it.

Similarly, if you don’t pay attention to your money, you can sink your score fast, too.

The following tips will help you figure out why your credit score tanked so fast or, if you’re really weird, can help you lower your score as low as possible.

Make As Many Late Payments As Possible

Your payment history makes up a whopping 35% of your credit score. If you make payments late, this large portion of your score will drop insanely fast.

You can have 30, 60 or 90+ days late marks on your profile. The longer you don’t pay your bills as agreed, the worse your credit score will get.

Let Your Debt Go To Collections

Want to sink your credit score even faster? Completely quit making payments on your debt! Eventually, your creditors will send your bills to a collection agency which will demolish your credit score.

If you let a secured debt, such as a mortgage or car loan, go into collections, you could get your car repossessed or your house foreclosed on. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Max Out Your Credit Lines

The next biggest portion of your credit score, coming in at 30%, is based on the amounts you owe on your lines of credit.

The closer you come to maxing out your lines of credit, the lower your score will go. Go for 100% or more of your credit limit if you want the lowest score possible. If you exceed your credit limit on your credit cards, you might even get some fancy over the limit fees to tack on to your bill.

Claim Bankruptcy

Once you’ve maxed out all of your lines of credit, you have quit paying your bills and let them all go to collections, you can try to claim bankruptcy to try to back on your financial feet.

If you guessed bankruptcy will ruin your credit score for up to seven years or more, you’d be right. Bankruptcy is one of the ultimate ways to make sure your credit score stays in the dumps for a long period of time.

Cancel Your Oldest Lines Of Credit

Your length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score. If you want to lower your score through this allocation of points, simply cancel all of your oldest lines of credit.

Have you had a no fee credit card since you graduated from high school 30 years ago? Cancel that along with every other credit card you didn’t get in the last year. Watch your score sink to the depths of the deepest ocean.

Apply For A New Line Of Credit Every Day

If your credit score is already in the dumps, why not drive it even lower. New credit is a relatively small part of your credit score at just 10%, but you might as well knock this part down, too.

Simply apply for a bunch of credit cards every day for a month and your credit score should be about as low as possible in this category.

Don’t Pay Medical Bills and Parking Tickets

Your credit score doesn’t just factor in debt like mortgages, credit cards and car loans. Things like medical bills, parking tickets and cable bills can wreck your score if they get sent to collections.

To continue sinking your score, quit paying all of your non-debt related bills at once. Yes, the power might get turned off, you might get evicted from your rental home and the water might get cut off, but your credit score will continue spiraling downward into an abyss.

Don’t Do Anything This Article Says

Honestly, no one should ever want to see their credit score get run over by a tank, but people allow it to happen every day.

Avoid all of the above practices and your credit score has a chance of staying decent. A decent credit scores means you will save thousands of dollars in interest on any type of debt you ever have to take out.

What was the worst thing that ever happened to your credit? Do you know of any other ways to wreck your credit score? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo by: Images_of_Money Text added by: Lance Cothern

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Unfortunately, when money problems arise, these types of things tend to come in bunches as the persons financial situation quickly worsens. The best thing to do is admit that financial trouble is real and seek help, to try to get in front of the spiral that lead to credit score devastation.

  2. Adam Dieterich says:

    For things not to do I’d also recommend never looking at your credit report. Identity thieves can tank your credit just as faster or faster than questionable financial decisions can. Pull you credit report at least annually and make sure all of the information is accurate.

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