Myths About Your Credit Reports…Part 1

Many people have beliefs about their credit reports that are just not true.  In fact, there are just too many credit report myths floating around the world of the Internet that have become true simply because they’re prevalent.  One of the most prevalent areas of misconceptions is what is and what is not on your credit reports.

The following myths regarding credit reports and scores abound…

Myth #1 – Income.  Your income is not on your credit, at least it hasn’t been since 1990 when the bureaus went through the exercise to purge it.  As long as you keep all of your financial obligations paid, the amount of money you make is not relevant to your credit reports and scores.  You could have an 850 credit score and be unemployed.

Myth #2 – Age (I’m too old for credit) – The credit scoring models do not take into consideration your age when calculating your credit score. Although, this is a question that is asked on a loan application, it will have no affect on whether you are approved for a loan or not.  There are laws that affect whether or not you are old enough to be approved for a credit card or to get a loan (CARD Act for example).  But there are no laws stating you are too old to qualify for a loan.  As long as you are creditworthy…that’s good enough.

Myth #3 – Address – “I’ve lived in too many different places.”  Just because your address is on the credit report doesn’t mean that it affects your credit scores.  The credit report does keep a list of the addresses that have been associated with your name, but this does not mean they are used in the calculation of your credit score.  So, move if you want!!

Myth #4 – Race or Nationality – This is also a question that is asked when you are filling out a credit application, however, it is not used in any of the algorithms when calculating your credit report and credit score.  You can’t tell someone’s race or nationality by looking at their credit files or scores.

Myth #5 – Your credit score does not fluctuate at all; once you have a credit score it won’t change for 30 days.  This is not a true statement.  Your credit score is very fluid and changes frequently each time your credit file is updated and then accessed.

John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.

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