In an effort to clean your cluttered finances, you close three zero balance credit card accounts. Lightening your wallet feels good now, but the potential hit to your FICO Score could weigh you down later.
Credit Sesame is a Website that helps people manage their credit — its offering users free credit monitoring, a service that the big three credit bureaus offer for a fee. However, Credit Sesame monitors information from a single credit bureau — Experian.
Start by doing a credit checkup — you can monitor your credit yourself by requesting a free report once a year from each of the credit bureaus through www.annualcreditreport.com but the free report won’t include your credit score, you’ll pay about $8 to get the credit bureau’s proprietary number.
Late payments are the “biggest foul” when it comes to credit cards, warns Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research at CreditCards.com — the consequences can include late fees, jacked-up interest rates and a lower credit score.
FICO isn’t the only number used to determine your credit risk — the score that counts is the one your lender uses. There is no single credit score number — the compilers of the widely accepted FICO Credit Score allow lenders to customize their system, so different lenders produce different scores.