5 Weird Ways You Could Hurt Your Credit Score

Applying for too many loans, having a high debt ratio or making late payments; these are all common ways that consumers know they could be hurting their credit scores. However, there are other, inadvertent things you could be doing that may also be having an impact.

Here's a list of five weird ways you could be hurting your credit score:

1. Paying old debts. While paying off your debts is generally a good thing, in the short run, it could hurt your score. For instance, if you pay off an old debt that was not on your credit report, the debt will show back up in your credit history once you start making payments again. 

2. Having only one type of account. While it may seem convenient or even responsible to have only one credit card or one loan, 10 percent of your credit score is based on the types of credit you have. So, when you can, you should consider mixing up your debt portfolio.

3. Applying for a new cell phone plan. Some mobile phone companies conduct hard inquires on their customers, just like a bank or lender. This means if you're jumping around from provider to provider, you could be bringing down your score.

4. Buying a motorcycle. Thinking of buying a motorcycle as a fun weekend getaway vehicle? Think again because the effects on your credit score might not be so fun.  Taking out a loan for a motorcycle is sometimes submitted as revolving credit, which makes it look similar to credit card debt. And, with debt making up 30 percent of your score, this could be a huge hit to your credit score.

5. Disputing errors on your credit report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers have the right to dispute any errors in their credit report. However, while the disputed item is being evaluated, the account is not included in your score. This means if you're applying for new credit, your credit utilization ratio could be impacted. 

With your credit score constantly fluctuating, it can be difficult to keep track of what is causing changes to it. The only way to really know what is going on is to monitor your credit history on a regular basis.