NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It's a lot easier to kill your credit score than it is to build it up. In fact, your credit score can go from highly respectable to down in the dumps in as little as three months if you play your cards totally wrong. That won't just impact your ability to buy a home or a new car. It will also make it harder for you to get an apartment or even the job of your dreams. Building up your credit is the result of months and years of responsible behavior. Destroying it can happen quickly with just a couple of wreckless choices.
Ignoring Your Debts
If you have a debt you think isn’t yours, the absolute worst thing you can do is ignore it.
"It's pretty boneheaded to not pay attention to your statements," says Leslie Tayne, a debt consolidation attorney on Long Island.
She deals with people trying to get their financial house in order all the time, fighting old debts and trying to figure out how they’re going to pay off what they owe.
"People come to me, and they didn't realize they had these debts, because they stopped opening their mail," says Tayne, who adds that this is more common than people might think.
"Clients come in and dump their unopened mail on my desk all the time," she says. There's stress involved in being in debt and people -- quite incorrectly -- think that if they just bury their heads in the sand, the problem will go away.