There is a wealth of misinformation about credit—in fact, credit users, even those who check their scores often, incorrectly believe age, employment history and salary factor into a credit score, according to a recently released TransUnion survey.
“Checking your credit score is an important component of financial responsibility, but consumers should do more,” said TransUnion Consumer Interactive President John Danaher in a statement on the survey. “Our survey shows that even those who monitor their credit are only skimming the surface of their credit report and often don’t understand the factors that comprise their credit score.”
The most common misconceptions both credit-checkers and non-credit-checkers should know, according to TransUnion, are:
Myth: Checking my credit report will lower my score.
Checking your credit report will not impact your score—a lender checking your report, however, may.
Myth: Using my debit card will boost my score.
Use of a debit card does not reflect your credit habits, and, thus, will not impact your credit score.
Myth: My salary factors into my score.
Your salary will not impact your credit score, but a lender may factor it into the decision to approve your loan.
Myth: My credit card bill can be paid late, so long as it is paid.
Paying your credit card bill late will impact your score—late payments may remain on your credit report for seven years.
Myth: My credit score is all I need to know.
Checking your credit score is important, but so is checking your entire credit report. Assessing the full report not only helps you understand what impacts your score, but also helps you identify areas for improvement or errors.