Which Entries on a Credit Report Will Decrease Your Credit Score?

Credit scores are a measure of your overall financial health and how responsibly you manage debt. If you’re curious about which entries on a credit report will decrease your credit score, the biggest culprits are late payments, missed payments, collection accounts, foreclosure proceedings, and bankruptcy filings.

Are those the only things that can negatively impact your credit scores? Not necessarily. Can you do anything about entries on your credit that decrease your score? Perhaps, if you’re able to dispute them. Filing a credit report dispute may help to add points back to your score.

Credit Report Basics

A credit report dispute allows you to challenge information that you believe is inaccurate. If you’d like to initiate a dispute, you’ll first need to know how to read a credit report.

Credit reports include four categories of information:

•   Personal information. This section of your credit report includes your name and any other names that you’re known by, your date of birth, Social Security number, addresses you’ve lived at, and employment history. Your personal information does not affect your credit scores in any way.

•   Credit accounts. Information about your credit accounts is used to calculate your credit scores. Here, the most relevant details include what types of credit you’re using, when your accounts were opened, your available credit limit and current balance, the monthly minimum payment, and your payment history.

•   Credit inquiries. A credit inquiry can show up on your credit reports when you apply for a loan or line of credit if it’s a “hard” credit pull. The difference between a soft credit inquiry vs. hard credit inquiry is that hard inquiries can affect your credit scores, while soft inquiries do not.

•   Public records. Information that’s included in the public record about your credit accounts goes here. The types of things that can be listed include collection accounts, judgments from creditor lawsuits, and bankruptcy filings.

There are three major credit bureaus that compile credit reports: Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion®. Thus, you can have multiple credit reports. A tri-merge credit report compiles information from all three bureaus into a single report. As far as which credit bureau is used most, there’s no single answer as it depends on the lender.


💡 Quick Tip: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors that can damage your credit score.

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When Can I Dispute Credit Report Information?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute inaccuracies on your credit reports with the credit bureau that’s reporting the information. You can file a dispute at any time.

Examples of errors you can dispute include:

•   Credit accounts listed that don’t belong to you

•   Inaccurate payment history or balances

•   Current accounts that are erroneously reported as past due

•   Duplicated entries for the same account

Why would someone want to dispute a credit report? In short, doing so can help your credit score if you’re able to get inaccurate information corrected or removed.

Information from your credit reports is used to calculate your credit scores. FICO® scores are the most widely used credit scoring model. Simply put, it’s a three-digit credit score ranging from 300 to 850 that reflects your credit health. The higher your score, the less risky you appear to lenders.

A middling or “fair” credit score is anything between 580 and 669. Fair credit can get you approved for loans, but you’ll need a good to excellent score to qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Does Filing a Dispute Hurt Your Credit?

Disputing credit reporting errors won’t hurt your credit. Depending on the outcome of the dispute, it could even help your score. During the dispute process, the credit bureau is legally required to investigate your claim to determine if your reason for the dispute is valid.

Keep in mind that disputing credit report errors isn’t necessarily an instant fix for bad credit. If you have multiple negative items on your report, then getting just one of them corrected or removed may do little to improve your score. Disputing information could hurt your credit if a correction negatively affects your credit file.

It’s also important to know that disputing credit report information doesn’t guarantee its removal or correction. If there’s negative information on your credit reports but it’s accurate, you can’t dispute it. The upside is that most negative information falls off your reports after seven years, though it can take up to 10 years for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing to disappear.


💡 Quick Tip: An easy way to build your credit score? Pay your bills on time. Setting up autopay can help you keep your account in good standing.

Possible Outcomes of Disputes

When you file a credit report dispute, the credit bureau has 30 days to investigate it. That involves reaching out to the business that reported the information initially to confirm whether it’s correct. The business must review your account history and report back to the credit bureau that’s handling the dispute.

There are several ways your dispute might be resolved.

•   Scenario #1: Your dispute is deemed to be frivolous by the credit bureau. The investigation will stop and you’ll be notified as to why. You may be given an opportunity to provide additional information to support your claim.

•   Scenario #2: The business that reported the information acknowledges an error. It must send written notice to all three credit bureaus to have the information corrected. The credit bureau must send a correction notice to anyone who received your credit report in the previous six months. Notices must also be sent to anyone who ran a credit check for employment for you in the past two years.

•   Scenario #3: The business verifies that the information is accurate. No change is made to your credit report.

When your dispute is upheld, the credit bureau must correct or remove the inaccurate information. If a dispute is not resolved in your favor, you can ask the credit bureau to include a statement of the claim in your credit file. You can also ask the credit bureau to send a copy of the dispute statement to anyone who’s received your credit report but you might pay a fee for that.

Note that you can also add or update personal information to your credit file. For instance, you might choose to add a recent address or a job to your employment history. Changes to personal information won’t affect your credit scores.

Disputes Related to Accounts, Inquiries, and Bankruptcy

Disputes involving credit accounts, inquiries for credit, and bankruptcy cases can have the same outcomes as described above. Depending on what the investigation finds, your account may be:

•   Updated to reflect accurate information

•   Deleted entirely from your credit report

•   Unchanged, if the information is deemed correct

The outcome can determine what changes you might expect, if any, to your credit score. Having negative information corrected or removed can help your score, though the extent of the improvement depends on whether you have other negative items on your report.

If you’re interested in how to find out your credit score free, there are a few ways to do it. First, you might be able to get your credit score for free from one of your credit card companies. Many issuers offer free FICO scores as a cardmember benefit.

Signing up for free credit score monitoring is another option. In terms of what qualifies as credit monitoring, it generally refers to any service that automatically tracks changes to your credit reports that affect your credit scores. For example, that might include opening or closing credit accounts, late or missed payments, or paid-off accounts.

Recommended: Do Banks Run a Credit Check for Checking Accounts?

How Long Will Information Stay on My Credit Report?

Generally, negative information can stay on your credit report for seven years. That includes things like:

•   Late payments

•   Missed payments

•   Charge-offs

•   Collection accounts

•   Creditor judgments

•   Foreclosure proceedings

As mentioned, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can linger for up to seven years. As long as information on your report is accurate, it can’t be removed prematurely, even if that information is negative. Once the time is up for reporting of a negative item, it will fall off naturally; you shouldn’t have to request its removal.

Credit inquiries can stick around for 24 months, while positive information about your credit accounts can remain indefinitely. If you close any credit accounts in good standing, they can stay on your credit reports for up to 10 years.

What Are Some Ways to Avoid a Credit Score Drop?

Practicing good financial habits is the easiest way to avoid a credit score drop. You can do that by:

•   Paying credit accounts on time

•   Keeping credit card balances low relative to your credit limits

•   Limiting how often you apply for new credit

•   Using a mix of credit types, including loans and credit cards

•   Keeping older accounts open

Reviewing your credit reports regularly for errors or inaccuracies is another way to prevent credit score hits. You can dispute those errors to have them removed or corrected, which can help your score recover if it’s dropped temporarily.

How to Dispute Accurate Information in Your Credit Report

Accurate information on a credit report usually isn’t up for dispute, unless the same account is being reported multiple times. In that case, you dispute the “extra” entries on your report to have them removed.

If there’s negative but accurate information on your credit report, then you might try writing a goodwill letter to the creditor asking them to remove it. However, they have no obligation to honor your request. If the account is past due and they’ve been trying to collect what’s owed, they may also ask you to pay before they delete the item.

Credit repair companies charge you to remove negative items from your report. However, the tactics they use are ones that are already available to you, including disputing negative information, goodwill letters, and paying for deletion. It’s important to weigh whether paying a fee to repair credit is worth it, especially if the company’s promises seem too good to be true.

The Takeaway

Keeping up with credit scores is important if you plan to borrow money. The better your score, the easier it is to get approved for loans and qualify for the lowest rates.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

SoFi helps you get your money right.

FAQ

What factor causes your credit score to decrease the most?

Negative payment history has the biggest impact on credit scoring under the FICO model. Late payments, missed payments, charge-offs, collections, foreclosure proceedings, and bankruptcies can all hurt your credit score more so than things like new credit inquiries or closing credit accounts.

What are negative entries on a credit report?

A negative entry on a credit report is anything that’s harmful to your credit score. That can include late payments, missed payments, collection accounts, and judgments. A high credit utilization ratio can also negatively affect your credit scores.

What are 3 ways to decrease your credit score?

Three things that can hurt your credit score are paying late, not paying at all, and running up high balances on credit cards relative to your credit limits. Letting accounts slip into collections, being sued by creditors for debt, and filing bankruptcy can also cost you major credit score points.


Photo credit: iStock/Daniel de la Hoz

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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How Much Does a Lineman Make a Year?

Linemen are critical for keeping utility services running smoothly. If you’re interested in this career path, you might be wondering how much does a lineman make a year. The mean annual salary for electrical power line installers and repairers was $82,770 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

It’s possible to make more money (or less) depending on how many years of experience you have and where you’re employed. Looking at hourly and annual wage data can provide a clearer answer to the question of how much money does a lineman make.

Key Points

•   The mean annual salary for electrical power line installers and repairers was $82,770 in 2022.

•   Entry-level linemen earn around $40,070 annually, with hourly wages starting at $22.63.

•   Experienced journeymen linemen can earn up to $114,590 annually or $55.09 per hour.

•   Linemen’s salaries can vary significantly by state, with some states offering average salaries over $100,000.

•   The job involves installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical power lines, often requiring outdoor work in various weather conditions.

What Is a Lineman?

A lineman or line installer and repairer is someone who works with electrical power systems and telecommunications systems. The typical duties and responsibilities of a lineman include:

•   Installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical power lines

•   Identifying defective components within electrical systems, such as transformers or voltage regulators

•   Erecting power poles and stringing electrical lines

•   Inspecting and testing power lines and equipment

•   Operating power equipment to complete repairs or installations of electrical system components

Linemen can work in different specialty areas. For example, some linemen exclusively work on electrical power substations, while others may install and repair fiber optic cables. Line repairers may be dispatched to repair electrical lines or telecommunications systems following a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.

A lineman’s work requires being outdoors much of the time. Unlike retail or restaurant workers, they typically have limited interaction with the public, which could make this one of the best jobs for introverts.

However, they still have to communicate with colleagues, so it’s not necessarily one of the best jobs for antisocial people who prefer to work alone.


💡 Quick Tip: Online tools make tracking your spending a breeze: You can easily set up budgets, then get instant updates on your progress, spot upcoming bills, analyze your spending habits, and more.

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How Much Does a Starting Lineman Make?

What is a good entry-level salary for a lineman? Entry-level salaries for electrical linemen vary depending on where they’re located, their educational background, and which company they’re employed with. At the low end of the spectrum, lineman jobs pay an annual wage of $40,070, according to the BLS.

How does salary vs. hourly pay compare for linemen? Again at the low end, a starting lineman makes $22.63 an hour, according to BLS data. At the high end of the scale, a lineman earns $55.09 per hour or $114,590 in annual salary. These estimates assume that a full-time schedule for a lineman works out to 2,080 hours per year.

When discussing how much does a lineman make an hour, it’s important to consider the bigger picture. The actual hourly wage for a lineman can depend on how many hours they work per year and how many of those hours are paid at their regular wage, versus overtime pay or time-and-a-half.

Hourly and annual pay for linemen can increase as they gain more experience. For example, if you’re asking how much does a journeyman lineman make, you’re likely to get a different answer compared to someone who’s just starting out. Journeyman linemen are fully trained and can have years of experience, while a regular lineman may still be at the apprentice stage.

Recommended: 11 Work From Home Jobs Great for Retirees

What Is the Average Salary for a Lineman?

The average annual salary for a lineman is $82,770, according to the BLS, while the median salary is $82,340 per year. The median lineman salary reflects the middle ground between the highest and lowest salaries. Average salaries reflect the mean of all salaries earned by linemen.

The average lineman salary by state may be higher or lower than the national average. Here’s a comparison of the average lineman salary by state, based on BLS data for 2022.

Average Lineman Salary by State for 2022

State

Annual Salary

State

Annual Salary

Alabama $81,540 Montana $94,250
Alaska $92,060 Nebraska $77,880
Arizona $87,830 Nevada $71,520
Arkansas $66,580 New Hampshire $86,420
California $104,680 New Jersey $104,160
Colorado $89,660 New Mexico $65,820
Connecticut $109,670 New York $104,060
Delaware $86,880 North Carolina $68,790
Florida $71,890 North Dakota $94,630
Georgia $70,200 Ohio $80,410
Hawaii $109,430 Oklahoma $68,650
Idaho $96,180 Oregon $108,200
Illinois $100,330 Pennsylvania $86,280
Indiana $77,010 Rhode Island $101,550
Iowa $88,570 South Carolina $66,730
Kansas $81,570 South Dakota $79,180
Kentucky $72,020 Tennessee $71,100
Louisiana $68,650 Texas $70,090
Maine $81,350 Utah $75,340
Maryland $83,970 Vermont $92,680
Massachusetts $99,030 Virginia $70,100
Michigan $91,060 Washington $105,890
Minnesota $94,080 West Virginia $77,910
Mississippi $68,930 Wisconsin $93,050
Missouri $78,640 Wyoming $87,270

If you’re wondering what trade makes the most money, jobs in the electrical field certainly make the list. When you look at the bigger picture, lineman positions can be some of the highest paying jobs by state.

In terms of what is competitive pay for a lineman, it’s easy to see that some states have a much higher average salary than others. The top states for lineman jobs, which includes California, pay $100,000 or more a year on average. But is $100,000 a good salary for this kind of work? That’s an important question to ask, since this type of job can be more physically intensive — and dangerous — than others.

Whether a six-figure salary is good or not can depend largely on how you use it. If you’re focused on saving, then $100K a year might go pretty far. On the other hand, if you’re struggling with debt or don’t keep a regular budget, then you might have a hard time making ends meet, even with six-figure pay.


💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

Lineman Job Considerations for Pay & Benefits

Becoming a lineman may require no more than a high school diploma or equivalent. Instead of earning a bachelor’s or advanced degree, you may learn everything you need to know on the job through hands-on training. Most linemen work regular business hours and schedules, though they may be expected to work weekends or respond to emergency calls for service.

If you’re working full-time, your employer may offer a benefits package that includes health insurance, a retirement plan, and other perks. That, along with a solid annual salary, can make this kind of work appealing.

Again, how much much money a lineman makes can depend on what kind of experience they have and where they’re located. Living in California or New York, for example, can help you unlock higher pay. However, that can also mean dealing with a higher cost of living, which can put more of a strain on your paycheck. And of course, inflation can also affect your hourly wage.

Pros and Cons of Lineman Salary

It’s easy to be persuaded that a career as a lineman could be worthwhile when you’re looking solely at the average annual salary. If you’ve paid attention to any of the recent discussions about raising the minimum wage, you should be aware that linemen make a significantly higher hourly rate.

Making more money can be a good thing if you’re able to reach your financial goals. That might include keeping an emergency fund, putting money away for retirement, or paying down debt. As mentioned, lineman jobs can also come with good benefits, depending on where you’re employed.

Now, what about the cons? Lineman work can be stressful and may involve working long hours if you’re repairing power lines after a natural disaster. You may be required to work in less than ideal weather conditions, including extreme cold or heat. A lot of driving can be involved if you’re constantly moving from one location to another.

The job itself can be dangerous, since linemen routinely climb power poles and deal with high-voltage electricity. Minor or major injuries and even deaths can occur on the job. While linemen are specially trained to deal with different types of emergencies, this is still one of the most hazardous occupations overall.

The Takeaway

Working as a lineman is something you might consider if you’d like to bank a higher salary and you don’t mind physically strenuous work outdoors. Comparing the average lineman salary by state can be helpful when deciding where to apply for a position.

SoFi can help you get your money right.

FAQ

What is the highest salary for a lineman?

The highest average salary by state for a lineman is $109,670. That’s what linemen in Connecticut earn on average per year. Where you live and work can make a difference in how much money you can make as a lineman, as some states have much higher average pay than others.

Does a lineman make six figures?

There are lineman jobs that pay six figures per year. Whether you can make six figures as a lineman will depend largely on your experience and where you live.

What does a lineman make in Texas?

Texas is one of the lower-paying states for lineman jobs. The average annual salary for a lineman in Texas is $70,090, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether that’s a good salary to live on can depend on your expenses and which part of Texas you call home.


Photo credit: iStock/Prapat Aowsakorn

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

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Does Paying Off a Loan Early Hurt Credit?

Paying off a loan early could help you save money on interest, but it could cost you a few points off your credit score. Closing loan accounts can affect things like credit utilization, payment history, and credit mix, all of which factor into your score.

Does that mean you shouldn’t pay off a loan early if you have the opportunity to do so? Not at all. But it’s important to consider how your score may be affected if you decide to pay a loan in full ahead of its scheduled payoff date.

What Is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a loan that’s designed for personal use. When you get a personal loan, your lender agrees to give you a lump sum of money that you can use for just about anything. Some common uses for a personal loan include:

•   Debt consolidation

•   Credit card refinancing

•   Medical bills

•   Large expenses, such as a wedding or vacation

•   Emergencies

Personal loans are repaid in installments, according to the schedule set by your lender. For example, you might pay $350 a month for 36 months to pay off a personal loan. Each loan payment includes principal and interest, and your lender may also charge fees, such as origination fees.


💡 Quick Tip: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors that can damage your credit score.

Check your score with SoFi

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Can You Pay Off a Personal Loan Early?

Unless your loan agreement specifically states that you must agree to pay every installment as scheduled, then you should be able to pay off the balance early.

Keep in mind that paying off a personal loan before the loan maturity date may trigger a prepayment penalty. This is a premium you pay to your lender for ending the loan agreement ahead of schedule. Lenders charge these penalties to recoup any interest they might miss out on if you pay off your loan sooner rather than later.

If your lender charges a prepayment penalty, they should tell you that up front. At a minimum, any prepayment penalties or other requirements for paying off a loan early should be disclosed in your loan paperwork.

Does Paying Off a Personal Loan Early Hurt Your Credit Score?

Paying off a personal loan early can hurt your credit score, at least temporarily. To understand why, it helps to know a little more about how credit scores are calculated.

As an example, let’s use FICO® Credit Scores, which are the most widely used among major lenders. Here’s how these scores break down:

•   Payment history. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score. Paying on time builds your score, while late payments can hurt it.

•   Credit utilization. Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit you’re using at any given time. This factor represents 30% of your FICO score.

•   Credit age. Your credit age is the overall average length of your credit history. This factor accounts for 15% of your credit score.

•   Credit mix. Credit mix is simply the different types of credit you’re using. It makes up 10% of your FICO score.

•   Credit inquiries. Inquiries show up on your credit report when you apply for new credit. They make up the last 10% of your FICO score.

Why does paying off a loan hurt credit? It has to do with some of the factors listed above.

When an account moves from open status to closed, that means you’re no longer racking up points for on-time payments. You’re also affecting your overall credit utilization and credit mix. That combination can mean a dip in your score, though it’s less drastic than what you might see if you were to suddenly stop paying your debts or max out your credit cards.

When does paying off a debt help your credit score? When you have high credit limits but low balances, that’s good for your credit utilization — assuming that you’re not closing credit card accounts after paying them off.

Your score is less likely to suffer a drop after paying off a loan if you have other debts that you’re making on-time payments to and a healthy credit mix. Signing up for free credit score monitoring can help you keep track of score changes over time and the factors that might cause your score to go up or down.

Does It Make Sense to Pay Off a Loan Early?

Paying off a loan early can make sense if you would like to clear the debt and have the cash to do so. Here’s what paying off a loan early might do for you:

•   Eliminate a monthly payment in your budget so you have more cash to direct toward other financial goals.

•   Potentially save money on interest, since you’re not making any additional payments to the lender.

Whether you should pay off a loan early depends on your personal debt repayment plan and strategy. Keep in mind that it’s not always the right solution. For example, say that you plan to take $10,000 out of savings to pay off a personal loan early. If doing so leaves you with nothing for emergencies, then you can find yourself back in debt pretty quickly if you have to charge an unexpected expense to a credit card.

If you’re interested in the fastest ways to pay off debt, there are some options. For example, you can:

•   Use your tax refund or other windfalls to pay off what you owe.

•   Double up on your monthly payments.

•   Make biweekly payments, which adds up to one extra full payment per year.

•   Refinance the debt into a new loan with a lower interest rate.

What matters most when paying off debt is finding a method that works for your budget and situation.


💡 Quick Tip: An easy way to raise your credit score? Pay your bills on time. Setting up autopay can help you keep your account in good standing.

Credit Cards vs Installment Loans

Credit cards and installment loans are very different. A credit card is a revolving credit line. As you pay down your balance, you free up available credit. Installment loans, on the other hand, let you borrow a lump sum. As you pay it off, the balance goes down until it reaches zero.

In terms of how they’re treated for credit scoring purposes, credit cards tend to carry more weight. That’s because credit scores lean heavily on your credit utilization. Does carrying a credit card balance affect credit? Yes, and it can also cost you money if you’re paying a high interest rate.

Installment loans can help you build a positive payment history. They can also enhance your credit mix. Examples of installment loans include personal loans, car loans, federal student loans, private student loans, and mortgage loans.

How much does paying off a car loan help credit? What about student loans? The biggest boost you’ll get from paying off installment loans is with your payment history. As long as you’re making your payments on time each month, your score can benefit. That can show lenders that you’re responsible about meeting your debt obligations.

Additional Considerations About Paying Off a Personal Loan Early

If you’re thinking of paying off a personal loan early, it helps to weigh the pros and cons. Credit score aside, here are a few other questions to consider:

•   Do I have enough money to pay the balance in full without draining my cash reserves?

•   Am I planning to apply for new credit after paying the loan off?

•   Will the lender charge a prepayment penalty? And if so, how much will it be?

You can ask these same questions if you’re paying off a different type of installment loan, such as a car loan or a student loan.

It’s also helpful to think about what you’ll do with the money that you’ll be freeing up in your budget. For example, you might decide to park it in a high-yield savings account or invest it to start growing wealth for retirement.

Keep an Eye on Your Credit When Paying Off a Personal Loan Early?

If you’re planning to pay off a personal loan early, it’s a good idea to check your credit scores regularly. While you’re making payments, you can monitor your scores to see what kind of positive impact they’re having. Once you make the last payment, you can go back and see if doing so helped or hurt your score.

You should make sure that the account has been properly marked as closed on your credit reports. Keeping records of all your payments is a good idea as well, in case the lender tries to come back later and say that you still owe.

Should your credit score go down after paying off a loan, the best way to bring it back up again is to make on-time payments to other debts. Paying down credit card balances and limiting how often you apply for new credit can also work in your favor.

The Takeaway

Paying off a personal loan early can save you some money on interest charges and free up cash for other goals. Before paying off a personal loan before maturity, it’s helpful to consider how it might affect your credit score.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

SoFi can show you how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

Is there a downside to paying off a loan early?

Paying a loan off early can impact your credit score negatively if it affects your credit mix or payment history. Your lender may also charge you a prepayment penalty to recoup lost interest.

Why does credit score go down after paying off loan?

Credit scores can go down after paying off a loan because you’re no longer benefiting from making on-time payments. You may also see a score loss if you no longer have an installment loan showing in your credit mix.

Does it hurt your credit score if you pay early?

Paying early on a loan can hurt your credit score if you’re no longer seeing on-time payments reported to the credit bureau. However, you can recover your score by continuing to pay other bills on time, maintaining a low credit utilization, and limiting how often you apply for new credit.


Photo credit: iStock/vorDa

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Top 10 Part-Time Jobs for Seniors in 2024

Whether you want to earn extra income to make ends meet or stay engaged with the community, there are plenty of reasons why you may decide to seek out part-time employment after you leave the workforce. And because these jobs don’t require 40 hours a week, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the retirement experience.

10 Part-Time Jobs for Seniors

Maybe your ideal part-time job allows you to work from home. Or perhaps you’re looking for a side hustle that keeps you moving for most of the day. Whatever your needs are, there are plenty of employment options to explore. Here are 10 to consider.

#1: Dog Sitter and Walker

Many people brought dogs home during the pandemic — and many of them need help with their companions while they work or when they go out of town. If you’re an animal lover and understand basic pet first aid, offering your services as a dog sitter and walker allows you to care for man’s best friend while also earning cash to help cover retirement expenses.

•   General duties: Main duties generally include feeding, walking, and overseeing the care of the dogs. If you’re pet sitting, you might care for them in your home, stay in the client’s home, or check in on the pooches throughout the day.

•   Average pay: A dog walker charges an average of $17 per hour, while a pet sitter charges around $15 per hour. However, rates vary by location and the services offered.

#2: Office Manager

Know how to make the workplace run smoothly? An office manager job may be right up your alley. Note that these jobs can sometimes be competitive, so you may want to contact former employers to see if there are part-time positions available. Or consider expanding your search to include a variety of industries. After all, the skills that the job requires — organization, time management, attention to details, problem-solving, communication — are essential no matter what type of office you’re in.

•   General duties: These can vary by location but typically consist of coordinating administrative activities in an efficient and cost-effective way.

•   Average pay: A typical office manager makes around $24 an hour.

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#3: Content Writer

If you have the writing chops, you may be able to find opportunities to hone your craft and earn some money. In fact, companies across the country need outstanding writers to create their content, so this could be an excellent choice for introverts looking for remote work.

•   General duties: You may write content for companies to help them market themselves to potential customers or decision-makers. If you have technical skills — perhaps knowing about search engine optimization or photo editing — all the better!

•   Average pay: A content writer typically charges around $37 per hour, though some prefer to charge a flat rate for each piece of content they create.

#4: Private Tutor

When it comes to retiree-friendly jobs, it’s tough to beat private tutoring. For starters, you have the option to tutor in person or over a video platform. It’s also a chance to help students with a subject you’re passionate or knowledgeable about. Plus, private tutoring can be a low-stress way to earn money.

•   General duties: A private tutor provides one-on-one assistance to help one or more students learn and finish school assignments. This can involve studying the student’s textbooks or other materials and answering their questions on the subject matter.

•   Average pay: Private tutors generally charge an average of $27 per hour, though that rate can vary by location and expertise.


💡 Quick Tip: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors that can damage your credit score.

#5: Retail Sales Worker

If you enjoy engaging with people and helping them to find what they need, there are numerous retail sales positions to consider. Do you love fashion? Look for jobs where you sell clothing and accessories. Interested in technology? You might be ideal in shops that sell computers, tablets, cell phones, and so forth.

•   General duties: You’ll answer customer questions, provide courteous service, and accept payments for transactions. You may also stock shelves and tidy up your area.

•   Average pay: On average, retail sales workers earn around $16 per hour.

#6: Receptionist

If your idea of retirement planning involves finding easy part-time jobs for seniors— easy on the feet, that is — and you enjoy talking to people, then a receptionist position could be the ticket. If you don’t mind working weekends, you may want to consider a position in a hospital, nursing home, or similar facility.

•   General duties: Receptionists often greet customers or patients and help them register, if necessary. They also answer phones and offer general guidance to people who contact the organization.

•   Average pay: Although pay can vary by the type of organization and the state where you live, figure an average of $18 an hour.

#7: Groundskeeper

Many of the part-time jobs for seniors on this list take place indoors. But if you appreciate spending time outdoors, you might enjoy being a groundskeeper. Note that depending on where you live, this could be a seasonal position, so you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.

•   General duties: Groundskeepers generally mow lawns, edge, pull weeds, and plant and care for flowers.

•   Average pay: The national average is $20 an hour for groundskeeping services.

#8: School Bus Driver

A school bus driver may seem like a surprising job for seniors, but the majority of part-time bus drivers are in fact over the age of 55. To get accepted for this job, you’ll need to have or get a commercial driver’s license, a clean driving record and background, and (probably) plenty of patience.

•   General duties: In the mornings, you’ll pick up students from bus stops or homes and drive them to school. Later in the day, you’ll drop them back off. You’ll also need to manage student behavior on the bus.

•   Average pay: School bus drivers earn around $20 an hour on average.

#9: Consulting

There are pros and cons of working after retirement, but one benefit is the ability to share your expertise and skills with others. A consulting gig can provide such an opportunity. By the time you reach 65, you’ve likely gained plenty of knowledge that you can impart to business leaders in your field. Plus, as a consultant, you can have a decent amount of control over your when and how much you work.

•   General duties: You’ll analyze a situation from an outsider’s perspective, looking for inefficiencies and providing guidance based on your expertise. Typically, consulting is a contract-based position that could continue until a situation has been addressed.

•   Average pay: The range for consulting work can largely depend upon your background and expertise. Sometimes, you might charge per project.

#10: Customer Support Representative

Whether your cable conked out or your income tax software hit a glitch, you’ve almost certainly reached out for customer support for help in times of need. If you’re a strong communicator and enjoy helping others, you may want to consider serving as a customer support representative yourself.

•   General duties: You’ll receive phone calls or chat messages from a customer in need of a fix. You can help them solve the problems, create tickets for others to address, and offer outstanding customer service to keep people satisfied.

•   Average pay: This position typically pays around $23 an hour.

💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed with a money tracker app.

The Takeaway

After you retire, you might be looking for a low-cost side hustle that can help bring in some income and keep you active. Fortunately, when it comes to part-time jobs for seniors, there’s no shortage of options to explore. As you review potential positions, consider your work experience, skill set, interests, how much time you plan on working, and how much money you could potentially earn.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

Can seniors still work part time and receive Social Security benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration, once you reach the full retirement age, what you earn will no longer reduce your benefits — no matter the amount. As of 2023, if you’re below the full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will deduct $1 out of every $2 you earn above the amount of $21,240.

What skills and experience are needed for a part-time job as a senior?

Required skills will vary widely based on the position. If you’re applying to be an administrative assistant, for example, it’s important to be organized and capable of managing a variety of tasks in a professional way. Being a nanny, on the other hand, requires strong communication skills with parents and children alike. When you’re looking at job ads, check the requirements listed and see how closely they match your experiences and skills.

How many hours a week should seniors work part time?

There’s no one-size-fits-all number of hours a senior should work each week. They’ll want to consider a number of factors to determine the appropriate workload for them, including how much income they need, how much free time they have, and how much they’re able to earn and still receive Social Security benefits.


Photo credit: iStock/Pranithan Chorruangsak

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

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Top 12 Jobs for Skilled Seniors That Pay Well in 2024

For a growing number of Americans, turning 65 no longer automatically means retirement. As of May 2022, 21.9% of Americans 65 and older were working, compared with 19.5% in May 2020, according to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney.

If you want to keep up the 9 to 5 into your golden years, there’s a wide range of options for you to explore. This is especially true if you’re a skilled senior interested in full-time employment.

Tips When Finding a Job as a Senior

There are pros and cons and working after retirement. If returning to the daily grind is right for you and your financial situation, then there are a few things you’ll want to keep top of mind:

•   Weigh the pros and cons of working for a company versus freelancing or consulting.

•   Think about whether you’d prefer to work from home or go into an office or to a job site.

•   Read the job listing carefully, paying close attention to the requirements listed.

•   Remove graduation dates from your resume unless they’re fairly recent.

•   Include a couple of your key accomplishments in a cover letter.

•   During an interview, be sure to strategically share key career highlights from the past 10 to 15 years, and spotlight the ways in which you’ve kept your skills up to date.

•   Move ahead with confidence!

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12 Jobs for Skilled Seniors That Pay Well

Working can help provide seniors with a degree of financial security as well as other benefits, such as connecting with coworkers and creating a sense of purpose. Let’s take a closer look at jobs for skilled seniors that suit a variety of skills and interests.

#1: Teacher

If you have the appropriate credentials, teaching can be a rewarding job. Don’t fret if you don’t have the right credentials — you might still be able to land a position. Many high schools, career centers, and community colleges may be open to hiring experienced people to teach general interest or professional development courses. Educational organizations may also be seeking teaching assistants or tutors, both of which can be excellent jobs for skilled seniors.

#2: Government Worker

Government jobs can offer competitive salaries along with good benefits, often including a nice pension. Even after you stop working at a federal government job, you may be eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Depending on your background, education, and work experience, you may be qualified for roles with the National Institutes of Health, which participates in jobs fairs specifically for workers aged 55 and up; the Peace Corps; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and more.

#3: Tax Preparer

Interested in becoming a tax preparer? If you have an accounting background, then this type of work may be a natural fit. That said, you don’t need to be a certified accountant — you just need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number from the IRS and pass a competency exam.


💡 Quick Tip: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors that can damage your credit score.

#4: Real Estate Agent

You can earn a good income helping people buy and/or sell their home or property. But there’s another selling point to being a real estate agent: the ability to set your own schedule, as long as you can still satisfy your clients. In fact, this flexibility can be useful if you’re deciding whether you want to work part time or full time. Before you start working, you’ll need to get a license, and requirements vary by state.

#5: Bank Teller

You typically only need a high school diploma or the equivalent to qualify for a bank teller’s job, and you may be required to undergo a short period of on-the-job training. In this position, you’d handle the standard transactions at the financial institution. So if you’re comfortable handling a steady flow of cash and enjoy working with customers, this could be a job to consider.

#6: Medical Biller

A medical biller works for a healthcare organization such as a hospital or doctor’s office and is responsible for appropriately billing insurance companies, managing the status of claims, and addressing problems that arise. This is one of those jobs for skilled seniors that require organization and the ability to follow through — in this case, with both patients and the insurance companies.

Recommended: How to Negotiate Medical Bills

#7: Virtual Assistant

Plenty of small businesses in the United States need help with daily administration tasks. Depending on your skills, virtual tasks could include making phone calls, managing emails, scheduling appointments, maintaining calendars, offering bookkeeping services, handling social media, and so forth. Although many virtual assistant jobs are part time, if you wanted more work, you could have multiple clients to whom you provide your services.

#8: Telework Nurse or Doctor

Telehealth services have greatly expanded since the start of the pandemic, and demand for remote healthcare providers remains high. If you’re a recently retired nurse or doctor, and are still licensed, you may want to explore a telehealth position. It could allow you to continue providing care but from the comfort of home (or a home office).

#9: Counselor

Forty-seven percent of Americans live in an area with a shortage of mental health care professionals, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. If you’re a retired counselor or therapist and are interested in working again, re-entering the field could allow you to provide much-needed services.

#10: HVAC Technicians

From installation to maintenance to repairs, HVAC pros can find themselves in great demand all year long. If you have this kind of experience, or are handy and able to incorporate HVAC into your skill sets, then this type of work can be a steady source of income.

Recommended: What Is the Cost to Replace an HVAC System?

#11: Paralegal

Busy attorneys need plenty of help researching information, creating documentation, and contacting clients. If you have the education and experience — and you’re highly organized and able to multitask — then a paralegal job may be right for you.

#12: Grant Writer

Grant writing is a specialized type of writing where you’d write proposals to help nonprofits and other agencies to obtain funding for their programs. To succeed at grant writing, it’s important to research the requirements and deadlines of the funding, write compelling proposals to receive the grant dollars, follow up with the proposals, and write reports about them.


💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

The Takeaway

Your golden years are what you make of them — and for some, that can mean re-entering the workforce or pursuing a new, rewarding career path. Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs for skilled seniors that suit different skills and interests and provide a source of extra income.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

Can seniors still work full time and receive Social Security benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration, the answer is “yes.” If you’ve already reached your full retirement age, then you can work and earn as much as possible without a reduction in benefits. If you aren’t yet at full retirement age, then you can earn up to $21,240 in 2023 without a reduction. For income earned beyond that annual limit, your benefits would be lowered by $1 for each $2 earned.

What types of job skills are in high demand?

Management and leadership skills are appreciated by many employees, and these are skills seniors may well have developed over the years. It’s important to be able to effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, and to work well with others. For many jobs, sales and marketing abilities are key, while in others the ability to research and analyze are crucial. Note that these are general categories. Specific skills will depend upon the job you’re applying for.

What type of work-life balance should working seniors expect?

Maintaining a work-life balance is especially important for working seniors. As you consider re-entering the workforce, you’ll want to consider your physical and mental health as well as your finances, and ensure that whatever job you take on will fit in your lifestyle. As an older adult, you may discover that you don’t have quite as much stamina as you once did. On the other hand, having children out of the home and on their own may open up more time than you expected.


Photo credit: iStock/Vesnaandjic

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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