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You already know that paying your debts on time will keep your credit score in good stead. But what you may not know are the weird things that can have a negative impact. You may not know until you get declined for a loan or mortgage.

Here are some of the ways your credit score can drop.

1. Cancelled accounts.

You’ve done a great job of paying off your debts; especially those high interest credit cards so you close the account because you don’t need it anymore. Well closing accounts hurts your score. What? By closing the account, you’ve reduced your global limit. Keep your debt to approximately 30 per cent of the total limit of all your available credit.

2. Credit not used.

Too much unused credit has a negative impact. Lenders want to see how you manage your credit. If you don’t use any credit, you can’t show them.

3. Shopping for best rates.

Every time you apply for credit, it creates a hard inquiry. When you get hit a number of times in a short period of time, it may look to lenders like your desperate for money. And your score gets dinged.

4. Who is pulling your credit score?

You might be surprised to know that some new employers, rental car agencies, housing rental agencies, utility agencies, if you’re moving, all pull your credit score.

5. Discounts if you open account.

You’re at your favourite department store and there’s amazing discounts available to you if you open a store credit card. Don’t do it. The interest rates may be higher than a major credit card and your score may take a hit.

6. Divorce.

Both parties divide assets and debts. Even if your ex takes over the line of credit, it stays on your credit report until it is paid and closed.

Note: To check your credit score go to: www.consumer.equifax.ca and/or www.transunion.ca