Do you know your credit score? Most likely you do. Our digital world has made it easy to go online, and in most cases for free, to find out where you rank in the credit score world. Your credit reports and credit scores can impact a loan or credit card application, a job application, a new insurance policy, and even starting a new utility account. Sometimes misinformation can impact your mission toward better credit. Again, having the internet at our hands provides us with all kinds of credit information which can sometimes be misleading. I found these four common credit myths and thought I would share them.
Myth #1. Closing credit cards will cause you to lose the value of the age of the account.
According to The Simple Dollar; John Ulzheimer, “While closing credit card accounts typically is a bad idea when it comes to your credit scores (because you’ll lose the credit limit, which impacts your utilization rate), it’s not because you lose the value of the age of the account in your credit history”. Closed accounts are factored into the age metrics of the credit scoring system. So let’s say a 10 year old account that you close today is still a ten year old account. As long as the account remains on your credit reports, you will benefit from the then current age of the account… open or closed.
Myth#2. You have to apply for joint credit when you are married.
There is no law that requires married couples to apply for credit jointly. It is actually a bad idea because the liability would become part and parcel for both parties instead of just one. I think credit independence while married is the best idea. Remember there is no such thing as a joint credit report or score.
Myth #3. You are off the hook when you get divorced.
Separating joint assets can be an arduous task in any divorce situation. Even if your divorce papers state that your ex-husband is assigned the liability to the car that you both had, this does not mean that the creditor will let you off the hook. Think about it…..the lender wasn’t part of your divorce and will not make any deals that you make with your ex-spouse. John Ulzheimer suggests that “the only way to protect your credit during a divorce is to completely eliminate all joint liabilities by refinancing or by selling the asset to a 3rd party in order to pay off the loan. In the case of joint credit cards, it’s best to close these accounts to protect yourself from future charges made by your now ex-spouse. Closing cards is generally not a good idea if you can help it, but in the case of a divorce, it’s the lesser of a variety of future evils”.
Myth #4.You should go into debt to build back good credit scores.
This is wrong. Credit scoring does not look favorably on people going into debt, This is most apparent with credit card debt which can be extremely damaging to your credit scores for years to come.