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Credit Score Myths Debunked

“National Get Smart About Your Credit Day” is October 15th so now is the time to uncover your eyes and check your credit score so you can start making moves to raise it. While many of us know what a credit score is, not many of us know what affects and doesn’t affect it. Check out some common credit score myths debunked below.

1.) Checking My Score Lowers It

Checking your credit score will not lower it. You can obtain a free credit report by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are also offering free weekly credit reports until April 2021 because of the uncertain times of COVID-19. You can also download apps like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to check your score. Our Launch experts say these are great for receiving alerts about any inquiries or new accounts. These will help you stay on top of potential fraud.

2.) Closing Credit Card Accounts Raises My Score

Yes and No. It depends on how long you’ve had the card and what the balance is. It’s best to call your financial institution and talk with a member service representative about your options. Normally, you shouldn’t close credit cards as it may decrease your capacity. Capacity is the ways in which you utilize your credit card. If you pay an annual fee with your credit card and are looking to get away from that, then check out one of Launch’s two great Visa credit cardswith no annual fee.

3.) You Need A Perfect Credit Score

Even though it’s cool to say you’re in the 850 club, there are no special loans or products for 850 and higher score holders. However, a higher score usually gives you a lower interest on loans you may apply for. So do your best to keep your score as high as possible. Check out our credit score cheat sheet to see what’s classified in each score range.

4.) Income Affects My Score

Income isn’t considered an element that affects your potential credit risk. Income is a factor of capacity to pay bills.
 
Here is what affects your score:
Payment History(35%)
Capacity(30%)
Length of Credit History(15%)
Types of Credit(10%)
New Credit(10%)

5.) Carrying A Credit Card Balance Increases My Score

Carrying a balance on your credit cards can actually hurt it especially if you’re approaching your limit. This makes up your credit utilization ratio and it compares the amount of credit you’re using compared to your overall available credit. This makes up 30% of your score so using almost all of your credit card balance will send your ratio high and result in your credit score dropping.
 
However, it is a good idea to use your credit card to build and establish a good credit history. Experts say to keep your credit score ratio 30% and under. Read more on credit card utilization here.
 
If you’re currently using a high interest rate credit card, considering transferring the balance to one of Launch’s two great credit cards.

6.) There’s Only One Credit Score

There are 3 major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion. There are two main scoring models: FICO Scores & VantageScores. Launch uses FICO.

7.) Paying Off Negative Accounts Increases My Score

Launch experts say the older the collection is the less affect it has on your score. Sometimes, paying it off can ding your score because it brings it back to the forefront. If it’s a large collection and the company is continuing to reach out, you should pay it off. Even after paying them off, collections can still appear on your credit report for between 7-10 years.

8.) Paying Off Student Loans Increases My Score

Paying off installment loans doesn’t typically have a huge impact on your score.

There are definitely more myths to debunk and credit score information to share which is why Launch Member Service Representatives are here to assist you repair your credit. Call us at the number below if you’re interested in help with your credit score.

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