Your credit score—issued by each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)—is your personal rating of creditworthiness.
So if you’re looking to trash it, here’s what to do:
Get into debt. Going on a mindless shopping spree is an easy way to send your finances to the landfill. According to Credit Karma’s Credit Score Simulator, a fair score of 640 stands to drop 10 points by racking up $5,000.
Forget to pay monthly bills. Not paying debt back fast enough got the U.S. government in hot water with S&P and it can do the same wonders for your finances.
If you want your score to tank, make late payments repeatedly, and use your credit card whenever you don’t have the cash to pay off the purchase.
Bonus: Reach for the stars and send your debts to collections, which will clip your score by nearly 40 points if it stands at a fair rating of 642, notes CreditKarma.
Raise your credit card utilization. Go ahead, max out that card! A single credit 100% utilization flaunts your irresponsibility and unwillingness to do the smarter thing and keep your balance under 30% or spread your use over several cards.
Close all your accounts. Credit, who needs it? Shut off the faucet and let the credit agencies know you could care less about accessing credit and building a future.
Or apply for tons of credit. Not only will this make you look desperate to creditors, you’ll ding your score by several points with all the hard inquiries (reviews of your report). This will tarnish your score for up to two years.
Go bust. There are lots of fun ways to do this, from getting divorced and saddled with a home in foreclosure to evading your taxes and having a lien slapped on your public record.
Bankruptcies and other public black marks can knock hundreds of points off your score. A homeowner with a 720 credit rating whose property went into foreclosure, for example, would see his score drop by 150 points, according to MainStreet.