You Could Be Hurting Your Credit Without Knowing It

Many consumers are damaging their credit score without knowing it.

Dec. 2, 2008 — -- Financial institutions' liquidity problems have trickled down to consumers in the form of smaller credit card limits. Even if you pay your bills on time, banks still could reduce your card's spending limit.

Watch "Good Morning America" Wednesday to discover other ways you could unknowingly be hurting your credit.

It's simply a matter of banks wanting to reduce their risk. As unemployment rises, inevitably, people will have trouble making their credit card payments; so credit card companies also are checking your credit report to see the balances you carry on other cards to determine if you're likely to fall behind on payments.

American Express, Bank of America, Citi and Discover are among the major issuers who are lowering credit lines.

So it's important that the next time you get a notice from your credit card company, you should read all that fine print. It may be telling you your credit line has been lowered by as much as thousands of dollars, and that's something you need to know before you do your Christmas shopping.

When you do go over the limit, not only do you have an over-limit fee, you may get socked with a higher interest rate, too.