Credit Score Myths You’ll Want to Ignore

There are plenty of myths floating around out there about credit scores, but sometimes believing certain ones can actually hurt you rather than help you. Here are a few myths that, if you hear them, you’ll want to let them in one ear and out the other.

  1. Checking your own score will hurt your score. This is only true if you get a hard inquiry into your credit (which is when you apply for new credit). However, soft inquiries into your credit score won’t negatively affect you and won’t be visible to companies checking your score.
  2. Credit card debt is a bad thing. The only time that credit card debt is bad is when it’s too much debt (especially if you’ve maxed out a credit card). Having small amounts of credit card debt will actually help your credit score instead.
  3. Closing old accounts helps improve your score. Although it seems like a good thing to close out old accounts you aren’t using anymore, this could actually negatively impact your score. Closing them reduces your available credit and will throw off the age of your oldest account. Cut up those old cards and keep those accounts around!

Image via The New York Times.