The internet is packed full of information about how to better your finances. But when you hear or read something about credit or finance, how can you know if it’s true? How can you be sure that it’s true and not a credit myth? Today, I’ll try to try to cut through the clutter and give you 5 of the most common myths and truths. You might be surprised about what you learn.
Myth: Paying off debt immediately removes that debt from your credit report. Your credit report reflects your credit history, which includes all of your accounts and payment statuses. Since delinquent payments, collection accounts, discharges, and bankruptcies stay on your credit report for 7-10 years, simply paying off a debt will not immediately remove it from your report, but it does help improve your score overall.
Myth: Every time your credit report is pulled, your credit score decreases. When your credit report is “pulled” it’s classified as either a “hard” or “soft” inquiry. A hard inquiry occurs when you’ve taken an action like applying for credit and a lender pulls your credit report to review your credit history. This type of inquiry can affect your credit scores. A soft inquiry occurs when you check your own credit or a lender sending you a “pre-approved” credit offer pulls your credit. This type of inquiry does not affect your credit score.
Myth: As long as one spouse has good credit, low-interest loans will be easy to get. We have all had that thought before “oh, I’ll just use your credit and that will help us get a lower interest rate.” A spouse with poor credit can affect a couple’s ability to get credit or get a decent interest rate. Let’s say one spouse can’t qualify for credit on his or her own, and the couple wants to apply for a joint account or become co-signers on a mortgage. If one spouse has inadequate credit history, the couple might have to pay higher interest rates, additional fees or could be denied the loan.
Fact: The credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus could be different. Not all your accounts/lenders will report to all three major credit reporting bureaus, which means, none of them will produce the exact same score as another. Also, accounts on your credit reports may not always be updated on the same day so each of the bureaus’ reporting to each other can vary at any given point in time.
Fact: Regarding credit and finances: Don’t believe everything you see or hear. As with many other subjects, when it comes to credit, you can’t always trust the information you come across. If you’re ever unsure and want to learn more, you can always visit your local credit union branch or our website to learn more about Financial Counseling.
We’re here to help. Every day, we see people just like you who are seeking information seeking answers related to credit and finances so that they can better their lives. And that’s a fact.
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Until next time,