We discussed what to do in order to improve your credit score. To maintain your increased score remember these 7 Credit Score Myths and things not to do in order to maintain a good credit score
Your score will drop if you check your credit
Fortunately, this one is definitely not true.Checking your own report and score is counted as a "soft inquiry" and doesn't harm your credit at all. Only "hard inquiries" from a lender or creditor, made when you apply for credit, can bring your credit score down a few points. Worried about damaging your credit while shopping around for a loan? Multiple inquiries for the same purpose within a short amount of time (a few weeks) are grouped together into a less damaging period of inquiry.
Closing old accounts will improve your credit score
To close or not to close, that is the question. Many people advocate closing old and inactive accounts as a way for improving your credit. In most cases, closing accounts will actually have the opposite effect. Canceling old credit accounts can lower your credit score by making your credit history appear shorter. Think twice before closing the oldest account on your credit report. If you want to reduce your levels of available credit, ask for your credit limits to be reduced or close newer accounts instead.
Once you pay off a negative record, it is removed from your credit report
Negative records such as collection accounts and charge-offs will remain on your credit report for 7 years after they are first posted, bankruptcies stay on your record for 10 years. Paying off the account before the end of the set term doesn't remove it from your credit report, but will cause the account to be marked as "paid." It is still a good idea to pay your debts, it can improve your credit score, but the major improvement will come when the record expires.
Being a co-signer doesn't make you responsible for the account
When you open a joint account, co-sign on a loan or become an authorized user on someone's credit card, you are taking on legal responsibility for the account. Any activity on these shared accounts, good or bad, will show up on both people's credit reports. If you co-sign for a friend's auto loan and they don't make the payments, your credit profile will be hurt by their actions and visa versa. The only way to stop this double reporting is to refinance the loan or to have the creditor officially remove you from the account.
Paying off a debt will add 50 points to your credit score
Your credit score is calculated using a complex algorithm that takes into account hundreds of factors and values. It is very hard to predict how many points you can gain by changing one factor. For a person with a high
credit score, just one late payment can cause a significant drop. If a person has a low credit score, it may not cause a large drop at all. There is no magical way to improve your credit score, just keep paying your bills on time, reducing your debts and removing negative inaccuracies from your
credit report. Good financial behavior and time are the two most important factors on your credit score.
Opening many new accounts can raise your credit score
While opening a new account where you have had none will help raise your score or establish an initial good score and perhaps up to three of a particular type can work to the advantage of the task of improving credit score, someone who already has several established account should not attempt to create even more credit lines as means to achieving a better looking credit report.
The credit card companies protect me from all fraud, I don't need to worry
Even though credit card companies may insure that they will not hold you accountable for fraudulent charges, identity theft can cost you money in other ways and reek havoc with your life. You remain responsible for protecting your personal information, particularly personal financial and credit information like social security numbers and credit card account numbers. Don't fall victim to pfishing scams, enter credit information on an unsecured web site or give personal information to someone by phone if you don't know who they are, especially if the call originated from an unsolicited inbound call to you.
We will proceed in this guide to walk you through parts of this process, provide further education and help you build a strong foundation for a long future of great credit!
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and Bankruptcy Alternatives - Debtor's Options
Other sources for this article besides TrueCredit and Mory Brenner, Esq. include FICO's own article on improving your FICO score, Credit Inquiries article by FICO, 101 tips to increase credit score, 7 tips to increase credit score and tips for boosting credit score.