There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding what affects a credit score and what doesn’t. Many times, people unknowingly do things that affect their credit score. At other times, people think certain things affect their score when they don’t. Here are a few common misconceptions when it comes to what affects credit scores.
Some people think that closing several of their credit card accounts will improve their credit score. What affects a score is having a high balance, and it doesn’t matter if a person closes their account. A credit score is affected by a few factors. Where it concerns credit cards and other forms of credit, the thing that affects a credit score is the debt-to-credit ratio. Let’s say a person has eight credit cards. Half of these credit cards have a high balance while the other four have a zero balance. Closing the cards that don’t have a balance will actually cause a credit score to drop because the debt-to-credit ratio has been raised. Pay off the high balances while continuing to charge things here and there.
Many Arizona residents believe that the amount of their income affects their credit score. People actually attest to their low incomes affecting their score. However, it does not directly affect a credit score. If low income creates an obstacle to paying off credit cards or bills, it can affect a score in this manner. A person’s income is not displayed in a credit report, and it’s not a factor in determining a person’s score.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they check into their credit score, it will reduce it. They have this misconception because there are certain types of inquiries that have an effect on a credit score. For example, when a lender looks into a credit score, this is considered a “hard inquiry”, and it can affect a credit score. However, this impact is temporary. When people look into their own credit scores, it’s considered a “soft inquiry”, and it doesn’t affect a person’s credit score.
Credit Report Changes
Some Arizona residents believe their credit scores are locked in for half a year. This could not be further from the truth. Credit scores can change at any time—be that daily or weekly. What immediately affects a credit score is when creditors provide information to credit bureaus. This means that people should regularly check their scores, monitor their spending habits and keep their debt-to-credit ratio low.
Related to the last myth, many people believe that they don’t have to check their credit score regularly. They commonly think this since they won’t be applying for new credit; however, there are other reasons to regularly check a credit score. Insurance companies, potential employers and potential landlords look into credit scores. Leaving things to the last minute can impact where a person lives and other factors, such as having to pay higher interest rates.
People tend to think that if they have bad credit that they’ll never be able to obtain a loan. People with bad credit can obtain loans, but they carry higher interest rates, may require that people place up collateral or provide a higher down payment on something. A poor Arizona credit score reflects the likelihood that a person won’t pay off their debt, which is why higher interest rates and such is affected.
A credit score can take years to increase. Take time to check it regularly, and research ways to do so. Don’t blindly believe common credit scores myths.
At Arizona Credit Lawyers we are always available to help. Contact us today to learn more.
Arizona Credit Lawyers – Gary Nitzkin
3260 N. Hayden Road, Suite 210
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: 480-771-6001 / 480-771-6001