- Image by The Ken Cook via Flickr
Instead of going through the strenuous process of raising your credit score we should cut to the chase and talk about how to destroy a perfectly good credit score. After all it is easy to make scores tank but it takes work, practice and good habits to build and maintain a good credit history.
In the event you are unsure of what a good credit score is suffice it to say anything above a 740 would be considered a good score by any bank or lender for most loan purposes. Scores in the range of 680 to 740 would be considered at least fair by most banks and lenders. So for the sake of our story you get to start out with a 755 credit score … just like Henry Aaron you get a 755.
Getting to a 755 takes good habits. It requires good borrowing habits, good payment habits and good spending habits. Once you achieve a 755 you will get plenty of opportunities to destroy your credit. In fact some lenders and credit card companies will be very blatant in their willingness to help you abuse your credit score. They are so glad you spent the 5 to 10 years to build your scores, maintain your payments and exhibit good spending control they will now allow you to squander your efforts pretty much just by signing a piece of paper and mailing it back or even just by phoning them and giving them a code from your offer.
To best destroy your credit without even going through the effort of applying for new credit you should simply be late on your credit cards, car payment or mortgage payment. In fact being only 31 days late with your mortgage payment should knock you down a couple of dozen points or more. If your credit is deep, meaning you have a great payment and spending history on several accounts, you will not be able to do too much damage with just one late mortgage payment. In that event you should go on to the next step.
Since you failed to do much damage to your score by being late with a mortgage payment I recommend strongly you do your best to be at least 30 days late with 2 payments. But don’t be late 2 months in a row. Skip a month and then be late with 1 other payment at least 30 days. That should do it for a few months.
Now wasn’t that easy? Chances are you dropped your scores at least 100 points in just 4 months. You may, depending on the depth of your credit history, manage to lower your scores as much as 150 points or more! Congratulations!
Hopefully you are able to recognize a spoof when you see one. The examples are fictional but the results are very true. Never be late, never over spend (keep your credit cards at the limit), be careful about what type of new credit you apply for and when, and always be conscious of your credit scores. Regardless of what Suze Orman says when it comes to borrowing, you are your credit score.