When you’re taking steps to improve your credit score, it’s important to be aware of mistakes you can make that will ultimately damage your ability to succeed. Today I’ll discuss three such mistakes and misconceptions so you can avoid sabotaging your own progress.

1. Paying an old debt. Many people think that paying an old debt is going to help improve their score when, actually, it doesn’t. Every time you make a payment to settle an old debt, the credit bureau reports it as recent activity—this can negatively impact your score.

2. Opening too many lines of credit in a short period of time. This is a red flag for credit bureaus, and it could also negatively impact your credit score.

3. Thinking that one late payment won’t hurt. Actually, a late payment could be devastating. Credit bureaus will lower your credit score anywhere from 60 to 110 points, and you could take nine months to three years trying to recover from that.

If you have any concerns about your own credit situation, we have a partnership with a lender who does credit repair for free. Simply reach out to us and we’d be happy to help you.