Credit score killers: 4 mistakes you could be making

Having a good credit score saves you big money when you buy a house, a car, or even open a new credit card. But, there are four mistakes you may be making that could seriously damage that score.

First things first, you need to figure out your credit score. You can access it from: Equifax, Experian or Transunion.

It's easy to find the number, but much harder to figure out why your score is what it is.

If your score is lower than you'd like, you may be guilty of committing one of these credit score killers:

Money Magazine says the first is the worst: late bills!

Just one late credit card payment can lower your score dramatically.

Another score killer -- using more than a third of your available credit.

In other words, maxing out every credit card you have.

Also, closing too many credit card accounts can really damage your score.

And finally, don't let anything go to collections.

Just one disputed doctor's bill can tank your score for anywhere from two to four years.

You can get a free estimate of your credit score on creditkarma.com. Or, for $10, you can access your actual score on myfico.com.

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