Our content is free because we earn a commission when you click or make a purchase from links on our site. Learn more about how we make money.

Credit Repair

6 Most Common Credit Myths



mythbusters

One of the first things I quickly discovered when I began the process of fixing my credit was that many of things I had heard about credit were completely false. Here is a list of the most common myths about credit.

Common Credit Myths

Canceling credit cards will improve your credit score. False!

This is untrue for the simple fact that one of the largest determining factors of your credit score is age. In another words, by closing credit card accounts, in most cases, you are shortening your average credit account age. Many times this is advised by credit counselors for people who cannot control their spending, however, this does not translate into a credit score improvement by closing accounts.

Paying down installment debt will increase your credit score. False!

Paying down installment loans such as student loans, personal loans, and mortgages will not improve your credit score. In short, FICO does not care about the amount of the loan –just that it’s being paid on time.

I only have ONE credit score. False

The fact of the matter is, in most cases, you have THREE credit scores. Yes, there are three major credit agencies and while FICO uses the same method to calculate your credit score between agencies, there are usually minute differences between each credit report you have with these three agencies that translate into three different scores. What does this mean? It means that your credit worthiness partly depends on which credit report happens to be pulled when you apply for credit.

Once a negative entry is put on a credit report, there is absolutely NO way to get it removed until the required 7 years is up. False!

There are several methods that you can employ to remove negative entries from your credit report. In fact, I can say that the worst (credit wise) items on my credit report I got removed by sending off various letters. Try to negotiate with the free negotiation and dispute letters I offer to my readers.

Holding a credit card balance is good for your credit. False!

Actually, it’s the opposite. While it’s good to have credit card activity, the best way to improve and maintain a good credit score is to keep either a very low balance or no balance at all.

When multiple people apply for a home loan, ALL of their credit scores are taken into account. False!

If, for example, you and your spouse are applying for a home loan, the only credit score that matters is the person with the HIGHEST income. Note: This is general practice. Some lenders do take all borrowers into account.

Comments


  1. I’m surprised by #6. I actually know someone who was denied a home loan because their spouse had such bad credit. They had great credit and had the higher income. I had been told that anytime a home is bought jointly that both persons scores are looked at.

    1. Actually, all persons who are applying, have their credit history looked at ONLY if their incomes are being included in the application process. If the head of household makes enough on their own to qualify then the secondary person’s or spouse’s credit is not necessary.

  2. I have NINE credit cards, only 1 has the longest history and the others are less than 2 years old. Since I will be paying them all off by August (yippee!!), I feel the need to close all but 2 of them, my two longest. I am looking to buy a house and from experience, the bankers have said that since I have all that credit, it is extremely risky for them to even give me a mortgage. It is risky because I have a chance of spending that credit and NOT paying my mortgage. That being said, I feel that a lot of what I read is in contradiction with what I have personally been through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest


Meet the expert

Ryan Greeley

Credit Expert & Editor-In-Chief of BetterCreditBlog.org, where he oversees publishing and content creation. In addition, Ryan has written about credit extensively over the past 10 years for publications such as Lifehacker, BuzzFeed, and The Huffington Post.

Read More