Every day, you cannot fail to find someone offering advice, especially when it comes to the topic of credit cards. From bloggers to bankers, frequent flyers, and even credit counselors, the list is endless.
The issue is that most of this information is self-serving or contradictory to what we already know.
Can you remember some of the lies you have been told about credit cards? Did you believe them? Well, in this article we will find out which of these tidbits are myths and separate fact from fiction.
1. Co-signing a loan will not affect your credit score
Once you co-sign for a loan, you become responsible for it. This is something many people find out only after the fact. Co-signing with someone who is financially irresponsible with the credit product will automatically lower your credit score.
If you open a joint account, you become responsible for that particular account. All the activities done through it will be displayed on the credit reports of both of you (account holders). If you co-sign for someone and they fail to pay, this will affect your credit score. The only way out would be to put an end to this dual liability by having one party refinance the loan.
2. Checking your credit score will lower it
This is a myth; requesting a copy of your credit score will not in any way affect your score. This misconception confuses so many people who can’t differentiate between “soft” and “hard“ credit inquiries. There is a fine line between these two.
As opposed to soft inquiries which don’t affect your credit score, hard inquiries do affect your score, and happen when an individual pulls your score to assess you for a credit product like a credit card or loan.
3. Settling an old debt will raise your credit score by 60 points
Of course, paying off that old debt can boost your credit score, but you can’t tell by how much. There are particular formulas used to calculate your credit score, making it hard to accurately say how much. However, it remains that settling your debt will affect your score.
Most of these credit card agencies use a rather complicated algorithm to calculate your credit score. As such, it is next to impossible to figure out how many points you may earn. It is advisable to keep a healthy financial lifestyle regardless.
4. Close your old accounts to raise your score
While closing old accounts you haven’t used in years seems to be a smart move, it won’t necessarily increase your credit score. If you are not careful, this might have the opposite effect because now, your credit history appears short. Disregard these lies you have been told about credit cards.
If you want your score to rise, do away with newer credit accounts.
5. Your race, age, and marital status can affect your credit score
According to a CFA survey, most people believe that their marital status and age will change their credit score. Others believe that to calculate credit scores, their race has to be put into consideration first.
These are myths because credit scoring agencies are prohibited from taking gender, marital status, race, or religion into account when working on scores.
Some of the above are likely lies you have been told about credit cards. Next time, do not take everything you hear as the gospel truth.
Do your diligent search, and if you are still skeptical, call your bank for more clarification. It is important to stay away from myths and bad advice when it comes to credit cards.