Credit Score Myths
Aug 4th, 2009
When it comes to your credit score, you probably understand the basics...if you pay your bills on time, you'll have better credit. But it's more complicated than that and not everything you've heard is true. Here are four credit score myths most people believe:
1) CHECKING YOUR CREDIT SCORE WILL MAKE IT GO DOWN. There are 2 types of credit checks: Hard and Soft. A hard check is done by a potential creditor - like a bank or credit card company or a car dealership.
A hard credit check DOES lower your credit score, but a SOFT check... like you do on Equifax.com doesn't!
2) HAVING TOO MANY CREDIT CARDS WILL HURT YOUR CREDIT SCORE. It's not true. You just shouldn't APPLY for a new card too often, because each time a potential lender runs a hard credit inquiry, your score goes down (i.e. if you apply for best buy, kohl's and the target card)
-- but Having a bunch of cards doesn't hurt your score at all. And consider this.. when you CANCEl a card, your credit score can drop by as much as 150 points.
3) YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARDS TO BUILD MORE CREDIT. At some point you were probably told to use your credit card once a month , then pay it off immediately. But in reality, maintaining a ZERO balance is actually better.
4) IF YOU PAY YOUR UTILITIES ON TIME, YOUR SCORE WILL GO UP. Sadly, utility bills can only make it go DOWN. Paying things like cable, phone, gas and electric bills on time won't help your credit score. But LATE payments WILL hut it.