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3 Myths About Your Credit Score*

MYTH 1:

If you know you have good credit, there's no need to check your credit score before making a big purchase. Many credit reports track how you use your credit, how much of it you have used in comparison to how much is available and the length of your credit history. In fact, a number of your credit behaviors may have a surprisingly negative impact on your credit score, such as numerous credit accounts in a short period of time. So, be aware that your credit scores are meant to gauge the likelihood that you would default based on how you make use of certain lines of your credit.

MYTH 2:

If you check your credit scores and reports, it can lower your score. Sometimes people misinterpret how credit inquiries affect their credit score. While it’s true a "hard" credit inquiry — which can be seen by creditors as an application for new credit — may impact a credit score, simply checking your credit score is not considered a hard inquiry. So obtaining that information well before you buy one may give you the time you need to start addressing any credit errors.

MYTH 3:

Lenders will only offer you a loan if you have perfect credit. Sure, lenders scrutinize credit reports and scores more so today than in the past, but that does not mean that if you have a lower credit score, you won’t be able to acquire a loan. While a good credit score can help you qualify for the lowest interest rates and most favorable loan terms on a new home, having a lower score may simply mean you’ll have to pay a higher rate and fees.