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3 On Your Side: Common Mistakes That Affect Credit Scores

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If you're thinking ahead to some spring cleaning, you may want to put tidying up finances and your credit report on that list.  But first, 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan  looks at some credit score missteps you may not even realize you're making.

Spring brings some opportunities to dig out of credit card debt.   Maybe a tax refund will go toward putting a dent in an amount owed.   But maintaining good credit goes beyond just paying bills on time, and some consumers may be sinking their credit scores without even knowing it. recently looked at some of the common mistakes Americans make when it comes to credit scores.

First, if you pay off a card in full, don't be so quick to close that account.  It's actually a positive thing for your credit score to keep it open, as it widens the ratio of how much you owe, to how much credit you have available.  Using too much of your available credit, can cause your score to drop.

Consumers with good credit are also good targets for more credit, and often receive offers to open accounts with new lenders.  Choose those offers wisely, as those inquiries account for ten percent of your score.

Any good spring cleaning for your finances will include a check of your credit report.  These reports can clue consumers in to everything from an error on the part of a lender to an incident of identity theft.  You can obtain your credit report for FREE at


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