3 Credit Myths Not to Fall For

We’ve all heard them – those rumored stories of instant credit success – and wondered, “Is that really true?

Image courtesy of winnond  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of winnond
/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The world of credit can seem like a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Here are 3 myths commonly heard by our financial gurus.

(and why you shouldn’t fall for them)

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Myth: You can boost your credit score by disputing everything on your credit report.

Fact: Disputing information on your credit report won’t do much to help your score if the negative information is accurate. The law allows for most accurate negative information to remain on reports for 7 years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. While being disputed, information may disappear from your credit reports, but if the information being reported is accurate – by law, it must return (and it will). Don’t pay someone who says they can get this information removed – it’s a scam. Really.

Myth: Closing old accounts will boost your score.

Fact: Closing accounts typically won’t help your score. By closing an account, you may  actually shorten your overall credit history and give yourself a smaller amount of available credit, both of which can harm your efforts to build better credit.

Myth: Paying off delinquencies will restore your credit score immediately.

Fact: Paying whomever you owe is good, but don’t expect a supersized boost to your score as a result.

Most derogatory information such as late payments, collection accounts, charged-off accounts, tax liens, and judgments live on your credit report for 7 years before dropping off, even if they have a zero balance. It still pays to pay though – yes, pun intended.

While it may take 7-10 years before a negative item drops off your credit report, the more time that has passed, the better. For example, a missed credit card payment last month will harm your score more than if you missed a payment 3 years ago.

If you have questions on whether the story your friend/relative told you is fact or fiction, contact us. We are happy to be your unbiased source of financial information. 888-258-2227 or cccs@LssSD.org

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