Failing to make monthly payments is the most common reason people see their credit score decline. (Getty Images)
Few things in personal finance are scarier – or more bewildering – than opening your credit report and seeing that your credit score suddenly has dropped.
That little number plays a large role in your financial life, says John Danaher, president of consumer interactive at TransUnion, one of the nation’s big three credit reporting agencies. A poor credit score can damage prospects for getting the credit card you want, or the terms you need on a mortgage or auto loan. “It will influence what interest rate you potentially pay,” Danaher says.