It’s the irony of all ironies: Shortly after writing a story about the risk of paying a department store card late after the holidays, since it’s not in your usual list of bills to pay, I forgot to pay one of mine. To be fair, I did check online for my statement a couple of times, but it wasn’t ready yet. And somehow I missed the mail telling me when it was finally ready. Thankfully, the issuer called before the bill was 30 days late, I paid it immediately (with a late fee, ugh) and narrowly averted a black mark on my credit report.
We all make mistakes. But when it comes to our credit, we need to be especially careful because that one slip-up can damage our credit for years to come.
Here are seven mistakes that can put your credit on a downward spiral.