There is a lot of misinformation regarding credit reports and credit scores. The following will attempt to dispel some myths relating to credit reports and scores.
Checking your credit report hurts your credit score.
False. Checking your own credit report will not hurt your score, however, allowing a third-party such as a bank or other lender to check your credit score could count as a hard-hit which will affect your credit score.
Avoiding the use of credit will lead to a higher score.
False. You must use credit facilities and demonstrate the ability to be able to pay as per the terms of repayment to establish and build a credit score.
Making minimum payments on time will ensure a good credit score.
False. Making payments on time accounts for approximately 35% of your overall credit score, however, 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization — how much you owe compared to the available limit. Ideally, you do not owe more than 30% of the available credit limit. High levels of credit utilization can have a negative impact on overall credit score.
Keeping a source of credit open long-term and in good standing will help your credit score.
True. The age of existing credit facilities in good standing account for approximately 15% of your overall credit score.
I can access my credit report and score for free.
You will always be approved for a loan if you have a good credit score.
False. While having a good credit score is important, potential lenders will also consider income, employment status, existing debts, debt ratios and assets when deciding whether to extend credit.
Having a high salary will equate to a better credit score.
False. Approximately 80% of your overall credit score is determined by whether payments are made on time, credit utilization (how much is owed compared to available credit limit) and age of the credit facility. Having a high salary does not guarantee these three factors will be met, however, proper money management will make it easier to satisfy these three factors, regardless of income.
Married people have a joint credit report.
False. Every individual has their own individual credit report. A married couple with a source of credit in both names (co-borrowers) should see information on their individual credit report regarding the joint source of credit. Whether this joint source of credit is in good standing or in default will determine either a positive or negative impact to each individual credit score.
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If a low credit score has been holding you back, please contact our office today for a free consultation. If you are looking for advice or a second opinion about your credit score or debt, it does not cost anything to talk about your options.