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Keeping credit healthy
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Which kind of credit inquiry is more likely to negatively affect your score?


A soft inquiry—meaning a credit check made just for information, not because you’re applying for credit—will never hurt your score.

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Which is not necessary for maintaining a good credit score?


Paying on time and paying more than the minimum when you can, will go a long way toward keeping your credit healthy.

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Key Takeaways

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Making sure your credit score stays where you want it is just a matter of staying on top of things. Here are a few key points that could help you maintain it.

  • Try to keep the amount you owe below 30% of your available credit
  • Keep balances in your revolving credit accounts as low as possible
  • Try not to apply for a lot of credit cards at once—it can hurt your credit score
  • Check your credit report for free every year with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion
  • Avoid negative marks on your credit report—they could be there for 7–10 years
  • Correct any errors in your credit report as soon as you catch them