It can be really frustrating knowing your credit score is low. It can feel like all the doors of opportunity are slammed shut. You might not be able to get a loan for a car or a house. It is also really hard to get a credit card with a decent interest rate (you should take a look at the best credit cards for bad credit). But what exactly causes a bad credit score?

Late or missed payments

One of the most common causes of a bad credit score is late or missed payments. When you make a late payment, it is reported to the credit bureau and your score suffers as a result. Even one late payment can have a significant impact on your score, so it’s important to always pay your bills on time.

If you have a history of late payments, you may find it difficult to qualify for new lines of credit. In addition, late payments can also lead to higher interest rates and fees, which can further damage your credit score.

If you find yourself falling behind on your bills, be sure to contact your creditors as soon as possible to arrange a payment plan. By taking action quickly, you can avoid further damage to your credit score.

Bankruptcy filing

When someone files for bankruptcy, it means that they are unable to pay their debts. This information is typically reported to the credit bureaus and can remain on a person’s credit report for up to 10 years.

As a result, bankruptcy can have a serious impact on a person’s credit score.


A charge-off is one of the most serious types of negative marks that can be present on your credit report. A charge-off occurs when you default on a debt and the creditor decides to write it off as a loss. This can happen after you miss a few payments or if you stop making payments altogether. When a charge-off is reported, it will have a major negative impact on your credit score.

In addition, a charge-off will remain on your credit report for seven years, making it difficult to obtain new credit during that time. Charge-offs are often the result of financial hardship, so if you are facing tough times, it is important to communicate with your creditors and try to work out a plan that will allow you to keep up with your payments.


Those are just a few of the most common causes of bad credit scores. If you have a low credit score, it is important to take steps to improve it. This can include making on-time payments, maintaining a good credit history, and using a credit monitoring service to track your progress. By taking these steps, you can slowly but surely improve your credit score and open up more opportunities for yourself in the future.