Mistakes consumers make when trying to improve bad credit history

Mistakes consumers make when trying to improve bad credit historyThough there is no overnight fix for a bad credit history, many consumers take drastic actions to take control of their finances, and may end up hurting their credit scores in the process.

It may seem wise to ask for a lower credit limit, as this may provide a check on impulse spending and force a consumer to stick to a budget, but doing so can also hurt a consumer's credit scores. Lowering one's available credit without lowering one's balance in proportion increases the percentage of available credit the consumer is using, which translates into lower scores.

Though dealing with multiple accounts can be a hassle, consolidating one's debt may also harm scores. In general, according to MSN, it is better to carry low balances spread out across multiple accounts.

While carrying too much debt on one account can adversely affect one's credit scores, so can opening many new accounts at once, which may make a consumer appear risky. One relevant exception to this rule is auto loans – multiple inquires from auto loan providers will only appear as one inquiry on a consumer's credit report, according to FICO.