The Truth About Credit Myths

Amy Goan |

I copied the following from the Bank of Internet website. Did you believe any of the "myths" to be "truths"?

The Truth About Credit Myths

Here are some of the biggest credit myths, paired with actual facts.

Myth: Checking your credit report hurts your credit scores.
Truth: Not checking your credit report can hurt you if there are inaccuracies or if someone’s gotten a hold of your identity. Yes, a hard pull (which happens when you’re opening a credit card or taking out a loan) will cause your score to dip temporarily. But you personally checking your credit report is what is known as a soft pull—and won’t affect your score at all.

Myth: Your income has an impact on your credit score.
Truth: When you apply for a loan, your income helps your lender determine how much debt you’ll be able to comfortably take on. But in terms of your credit score—that all-important three-digit number that’s a report card of your financial history—your income has zero effect.

Myth: You have to carry a balance on your credit cards in order to have a good score.
Truth: Although your credit score is based on responsible debt management, carrying a credit card balance just to try and raise your score can backfire. Your score can dip if your debt utilization gets too high, plus you run the risk of making a late payment or getting in over your head with debt.

Myth: Paying off a delinquent debt means it’s taken off your credit report.
Truth: Paying off debts that have gone to collections is always a good thing to do. However, that won’t erase the past. Your debt will be marked as “paid,” but the ding to your credit report will remain for up to seven years. As time passes, the black mark on your score will lessen, but it will continue to have an effect until it drops off.

Myth: My poor credit score will stay with me forever.
Fact: This is the most dangerous myth because it causes people to just give up on their credit. Your credit score is merely a snapshot of your financial history today, which means it’s always changing. As you make payments on time, pay down debt and avoid financial pitfalls, your score will steadily improve. So even if your credit is currently poor, remember the famous words of Scarlett O’Hara: “Tomorrow is another day!”

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