What Happens To My Credit Score If…

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What Happens To My Credit Score If…
Image Credit: Simon Cunningham/LendingMemo.com/Flickr
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How will something as small as skipping your cable bill for a month impact your score? Or on the other end of the scale, how will a major event like filing bankruptcy, doing a short sale or falling into foreclosure hurt your score?? Here’s a quick breakdown of the damage both great and small.

Minor damage:

  • Missed payment on all bills this month? Subtract between 75 – 125 points off your credit score
  • Credit cards maxed out? Take between 20 – 70 points off your credit score
  • Doing a balance transfer? Expect a 15 point drop in your credit score
  • Applying for new credit? Your credit score will temporarily drop around 10 points

FICO Score Simulator offers these ballpark figures for free online. For more detailed projections involving more variables, you’ll have to purchase this FICO analysis product for $15.95 per bureau.

Catastrophic damage:

  • A short sale will lower your credit score by 120-130 points*
  • A foreclosure will drop your score by 140-150 points*
  • Bankruptcy can decimate your credit score by 365 points*

When you do a short sale, the lender agrees to let you sell your property for below market value and walk away with no further obligations. But if you go into foreclosure, the lender has the right to sue you for deficiency, which will foul up your credit for seven years. That means you’re responsible for whatever financial losses they suffer as a result of the foreclosure. A foreclosure can lead you to bankruptcy, which remains on your file for 10 years.

* Credit goes to syndicated financial writer Kenneth Harney for these numbers, which are compiled based on your VantageScore — not your official FICO score. Your FICO score would likely take a similar hit.

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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