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Can you accidentally damage your credit file?

Posted: 22 July 2016 1:52 pm News


Find out what actions can hurt your credit score without you even realising it.

While it's obvious that some activities will hurt your credit score – defaulting on a personal loan or declaring bankruptcy – other problems are not so obvious. You might check your credit score and find yourself in the "very good" credit score range, only to drop to a lower range for seemingly no reason whatsoever. However, there are a number of issues that can affect your credit score and your credit file that you may not be aware of.

  • Moving house

moving house

When you move house several things happen that can affect the health of your credit file. You may not forward all of your mail which could result in a default turning into a serious credit infringement. This is where a lender is unable to reach you for a period of six months or more following a defaulted payment. You may not even be aware of the default in the first place because credit providers can contact you by mail to let you know about it. Unless you pay the outstanding amount in full the infringement remains on your file for seven years. If you do move house, make sure all of your creditors and financial institutions have your new address and can contact you. You can also consider leaving a forwarding address with the people moving into your house or set up credit alerts to keep an eye on your file.

  • Enquiring about credit

Lannister pays debts

Every time you enquire about a loan, credit card or any type of credit accounts they will be listed on your credit file. If you make too many enquiries in a short space of time this can have a very negative impact on your credit file and subsequently, your credit score. Before you make enquiries with a lender find out whether they will be checking your credit file as part of the process. This is where the enquiry is listed. It's important to compare your options, but you can do so without making formal applications for credit. Only apply if you're looking to actually take on the credit account.

  • Not managing your automated payments

managing repayments

Automated payments from your debit or credit card can be convenient and help you manage your bills and credit accounts more easily. However, if your cards expire or get stolen and need replacing, it's important to remember to recreate the automated payments to avoid late or missed payments. Any payments that are late or missed can be noted on your credit file and affect your credit reputation.

  • Paying a utility bill late

homer stealing pay bills

People often misunderstand the effect utility accounts can have on their credit files. If you have a utility account that is more than 60 days overdue and you owe more than $150, it can be listed on your account as a default. The provider will need to send you two separate notices before it can legally list the default.

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37 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    ZoeSeptember 4, 2019

    Can I improve my credit score?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiSeptember 4, 2019

      Hi Zoe,

      Thanks for getting in touch! It’s great to know that you are looking to improve your credit score. Here is a page that carefully explains how you can get started on that. The page includes an explanation of what entails your credit score, steps to improve it and how your score is calculated.

      Hope this helps and reach out to us again for further assistance.


  2. Default Gravatar
    AmihudMay 6, 2019

    I have bad debt from a few years ago, and I want to fix my credit ratings and pay my debt, is it possible? And how do I do it?
    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 7, 2019Staff

      Hi Amihud,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      You may need to reach out to your lender and see if they can offer you debt agreement on how you can repay. Since it happened a few years ago, it is possible that your file is now with a debt collection agency. If you have been contacted by one already, you can discuss with them available repayment options to clear off your debt.

      To help you get back on track, let me share our article on Bad credit: What is it and how can you fix it? You may find it useful as it contains tips on how to get back your credit file on track. You can also contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to find free financial counselling in your area. Financial counselors offer independent expert advice on how you can manage your money and eliminate debt.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

  3. Default Gravatar
    JillApril 5, 2019

    Is there a way to remove previous credit enquirers? They were enquired with three credit lenders and it’s affected my credit score.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Jill,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Please note that information regarding credit enquiries you’ve made is held on your credit report for five years. You may use this page as a guide on removing black marks and defaults like credit enquiry from your credit report.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    ChristineFebruary 13, 2019


    Can rental arrears affect your credit score?
    If so how many days of arrears before it is impacted?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiFebruary 14, 2019

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Rental arrears, since paid to landlords – don’t report to credit bureaus hence do not affect your credit score. You can check this page to see what affects your credit score. Hope this helps!


  5. Default Gravatar
    SajawalFebruary 8, 2019

    Accidentally I inquired so many credit cards because I didn’t know that it will effect my credit score all the ads from different bank which appear on the Facebook and other social media apps so is there any chance to remove that

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Sajawal,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Sorry to hear that.

      I am afraid that there’s nothing you can do at the moment since you can’t remove a legitimate enquiry from your credit report. In most cases, you will simply have to wait until the five years has passed and they are removed from your history.

      You may use this page as guide on removing credit enquiries if you believe that the credit card issuer has incorrectly listed your name.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  6. Default Gravatar
    MARIAJanuary 12, 2019

    I accidentally missed a payment on my credit card. Actually, I paid the wrong amount and the shortfall was $11. This has brought my credit score down from 738 to 691. How long will it take for this to bounce back?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I can’t provide a straightforward answer to your question since calculating credit score is quite complicated. Each credit reporting bureau has their way of determining your score and creditworthiness. However, if you manage your credit well, you can typically expect to see an improvement within 1-2 years.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  7. Default Gravatar
    daveDecember 27, 2018

    I don’t understand this. I have applied for a car loan with some lenders and my application was declined. I asked why as I have no single issues on my credit and always paid my mortgage on time and have no other issues but I was told because I have enquired from few loans provider so that is why my application for car loan declined. I am very scared now to do an enquiry for a loan any more. Can you please advise me how can I fix this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezDecember 27, 2018Staff

      Hello Dave,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Please be advised that when you do credit enquiries, these will stay on your credit report for five years. Therefore will affect your credit report. You can use this guide to learn about what credit enquiries are, your options for removing them or reducing them and what else you need to consider to optimise your credit report.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


  8. Avatarfinder Customer Care
    JohnNovember 26, 2018Staff

    Hi Yvette,

    Thank you for leaving a question with finder.

    You may check the history of your credit score with Experian or Equifax who are credit reporting agencies that collate your credit information. They could see what has affected it and how to correct or increase your score. Apart from that, you may also visit our finder page on how to improve your score by clicking this link. Hope this helps!


  9. Default Gravatar
    JoanneNovember 22, 2018

    Hi I do not understand why my credit is at 807 when I always pay extra on my mortgage and on time, pay all of my bills on time or before actually and always pay my credit card off long before it is due.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Joanne,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      There are a lot of factors that may affect the credit score that you have. If you have received your credit file via the free credit report from finder, you may need to contact Experian who is the credit reporting agency that has the information that we reflect when you pull up your report and inquire as to what affects your score. Hope this helps!


  10. Default Gravatar
    JaneNovember 11, 2018

    why is mine 860 when l did it a week ago it was 1000

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Jane,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You may visit this link to check our article on what affects changes to your credit score. After reading though this and you are still unsure as to why your credit score changed, you may reach out to the credit reporting agencies to check on this change. Hope this helps!


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