Study: Most people have no clue what impacts their credit score

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

How credit-score savvy are you?

According to, many people don't know which factors can hurt their credit score.

Four in five people surveyed did not know a high balance hurts your credit score, even if you make your payments on time.

76 percent of people don't know that closing old accounts when you no longer use them will hurt your credit score. If you do, you want to make sure to increase your credit limit on your other cards.

Only 30 percent of people correctly answered that having just one credit card can hold back your score. 

"There's a complex matrix that's involved that credit companies will use to calculate your credit score," said Michael Carlin with Wealth Management LLC. He said a credit score in the 700s is good; 800s is ideal. 

"Don't be afraid of having too many credit cards, that's not necessarily a bad thing," Carlin said. "Don't be afraid to use your credit card for purchases. Just make sure you're not overspending."

He also said go to the free websites at least once a year to see your credit report. 

"You could pay thousands, if not tens of thousands more just to buy that same car by having poor credit," Carlin said.

"Your credit score can drop in a hurry; it does not go up as quickly when you do something right," said Michael Sullivan with financial counseling non-profit Take Charge America. "When people are not reasonably competent in dealing with credit issues, it has a big impact on the economy, and we have seen before it can lead to bubbles; it can lead to a recession."

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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