There's often some misconceptions about what is actually used to calculate your credit score and what is included in your credit report. So we thought we'd take a closer look and lift the lid on some of the common myths surrounding credit scores.
1. Your salary affects your credit score? FALSE
How much you earn or your job title are not listed on your credit report and they also don’t have a direct effect on your score. But your employment situation can affect your score indirectly, in terms of your ability to pay your debts. And when you apply for credit, lenders will probably ask about your income.
2. Checking your credit scores will not impact them. TRUE.
Correct! No matter how many times you check your score it doesn’t impact your score. In fact it’s probably a good thing to do on a regular basis. Esp. If you're planning on a major purchase like a car or home, you'll be in a much better position to understand your credit before applying for a loan.
3. Parking tickets are not included on your credit reports. TRUE.
Things like parking tickets and library fines don't show up on your credit reports –even if the accounts are sent to a collection agency.
4. Criminal records are listed on my credit report. FALSE
Whilst CCJ’s (county court judgments) will appear on your file, actual convictions are not listed on your report.
5. If your partner – or spouse– has a bad score, your score will also suffer. FALSE.
Just because you live with some does not mean you have their financial history too. A credit score is specific to an individual. The only way someone else’s score will impact you, is if you have a financial connection to them. E.g a joint mortgage or credit card. Lendes will most likely look at both scores as it will impact your ability to repay.
6. You can’t get a credit card with a bad score. FALSE
Most lenders keep the good deals for those with the best credit scores. But having a poor score does not mean you can’t get a credit card. There are now credit builder cards available. They give you a lower credit limit. You then use this to make small purchases and pay off the balance each month. This will show you can be a responsible borrower and your credit score should rise. But remember to pay repayments in full and on time - as the goal is to show you can pay back what your borrow.
7. There is a credit “blacklist.” FALSE.
There’s no blacklist (only the TV program!) or list of addresses that can’t get credit. The credit bureaus are not responsible for whether you get accepted or not for your credit application. Lenders and creditors are. And they use and interpret the information in your credit reports in their own way and may have additional criteria to evaluate your credit application.
For more ways to improve your credit score take a look at CanopyGrow.