Lenders take peoples credit history very seriously. They don’t like lending money to people who aren’t trustworthy enough. But with that being said, there are also a lot of myths about credit check scores circling about, and bad information won’t do anyone any favours. Knowing how things work in the credit score game will ensure you’re doing all you can to keep your credit check score high. But more importantly it will help you avoid doing anything that could hurt your score.
When it comes to credit, knowing fact from fiction and understanding how to act is critical. Pile on top the proprietary nature of credit scores, the formulas for which are closely guarded secrets, and navigating the credit waters becomes even more confusing. Here are 5 myths that will hopefully clear any unnecessary misunderstandings.
1# Checking Your Credit Report Will Damage Your Score
People seem to believe that checking their credit report will lower their score. This isn’t true. Checking your score on your credit report is seen as a soft enquiry, whilst lenders checking your score will be seen as a hard enquiry. In fact checking out your credit report will only help you, as it will help you keep tabs on whether or not incorrect information has been registered or whether you’ve fell victim to fraud.
2# Closing Old Accounts Will Increase Your Credit Check Score
If there were ever a wolf in sheep’s closing as far as credit mistakes go, it’s this one. This myth will actually cause more damage than good. Closing old accounts will in reality lower your score. The reason for this is that it will make your credit history appear shorter. There are two reasons why; old accounts show how long you’ve had credit available to you, and it adds to the amount of credit you have available to your name. The older and the more credit you have accessible, the higher your credit score.
3# Applying For New Credit Will Lower My Credit Check Score
This isn’t quite true. It’s only a half myth, but I thought I’d add it in anyway. Applying for new credit will decrease your score if you apply for several credit cards within a short period of time as this would cause the number of hard inquiries to go up. Hard inquiries knock off about 5 points from your score so tread carefully when applying for more credit. But with being said, inquiries only account for 10% of your overall credit check score. However, if you’re applying for a mortgage or auto loan then multiple inquiries from those types of lenders are generally treated as a “single inquiry”, having little impact on your credit score.
4# Paying Credit Cards in Full Will Increase Your Credit Check Score
The only thing paying your bill in full is good for is your wallet. Sometimes, doing the right thing does the wrong thing to your credit. Realising that creditors are businesses and are only there to make a profit will help you understand why paying in full isn’t a good idea. If they know they’re not going to make any money off you, you will become a liability. It’s strange how it works, but a credit card with a perfect payment history and no balance will not raise your credit score as much as a credit card with a low balance.
5# Other People in My Household With Bad Scores Can Harm My Credit Check Score
This used to be the case but it no longer applies unless you are a financial associate in a joint account, mortgage, or other form of credit. If you are not financially connected in this way, their credit histories won’t be connected to yours. Until a few years ago, lenders were allowed to take into account the credit histories of people with the same surname in a household but that no longer happens. Lenders have to treat you as an individual.