6 Silly Ways to Wreck Your Credit Without Realizing It

A tumbling credit score is deadly serious, but the way you arrive at such a free fall can be downright silly.

Opening a credit account for the sign-up bonus

Credit card applicationkaren roach / Shutterstock.com

Buy a sweater, and the clerk will offer a 15 percent discount if you sign up for a store credit card. Stroll through the airport, and an airline representative will pledge to give you 50,000 free miles in exchange for signature on a credit card application form.

That sign-up bonus may look great now, but the credit card company almost surely will do a “hard pull” on your credit report to check your creditworthiness. And when that happens, your credit score will dip.

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