6 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CREDIT SCORES
In 1989, FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation, formerly Fair, Isaac, and Company) debuted their credit score system. This is the system that is employed by the majority of banks and creditors today, and the basis of its findings comes from information pulled from the country’s three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. The mere mention of a credit score check is enough to inspire dread in many Americans, even if you have reason to believe yours is in good condition.
This is understandable, given that a poor credit score can affect your ability to secure loans, get a mortgage, and more. However, there are misleading credit score myths circulating, which only make FICO’s system even more intimidating. Here are the 6 most common misconceptions, and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: Checking Your Credit Score Will Affect Your Rating in The Future.
This one can prevent plenty of would-be borrowers from checking their credit scores, but it’s not necessarily true. Two kinds of credit checks are available. One type, known as a hard inquiry, does take a small amount of points away from your credit score, and is activated whenever a lender acquires your report. This may be performed when applying for a credit card or a loan from a bank.
Soft inquiries, on the other hand, make no impact on your rating. These are typically performed as an overall background check, such as if you apply for a job or pre-approved loans. Checking your own credit score also falls into the soft inquiry category and leaves your rating unaffected, no matter how often you check it.
Myth #2. There Is Only One Credit Score: FICO’s.
Yes, FICO is generally the most well-known credit score system, but it’s not the single, most authentic rating. In fact, there are different scoring models set in place by the credit bureaus, and there are unique ones for each industry (automobile insurance, mortgages etc.). The scoring criteria isn’t identical in one sector to another, and one lender may pull a different credit score to another.
This means you can’t predict the exact credit score a lender will apply to you with exact accuracy, though your level of risk is unlikely to vary greatly from one to another. If your score is close to a level’s cut-off point, it may slip a few points above or below. Building your rating and improving your level of risk will lead to a stronger rating across all scoring models.
Myth #3: My Score Dictates Whether I Receive Credit or Not.
Avoid getting too downhearted if your credit score drops far lower than you might like. A variety of circumstances can lead to a dip, affecting how well you manage your debts. A job loss, for example, may leave you temporarily without the necessary funds to cover your payments on loans, mortgage, etc., and result in a rating decrease. Perhaps you fall ill, become a parent, or have your hours at work reduced. Any and all of these will affect your financial situation and credit score.
However, lenders base their decision on more than your credit score. They will look at the amount of debt you currently have, employment history, and credit background. Even if you have a low score, the lender may well still be willing to extend you a loan. In the case of car loans, for instance, there are dealerships that will offer loans to all drivers, no matter what their credit rating, as long as they have sufficient income to make the required payments.
Myth #4: Credit Scores Take Years to Improve.
When you start building your credit rating, you may expect to see an instant change in your score and may become frustrated when it remains the same. Your credit score echoes your credit-related activities over a specific period of time and will rise or fall based on changes on your own credit report. Any hard inquiries performed will be added to the report right away and can make a few points difference to your rating in a short time. However, credit card companies tend to provide updated data to credit bureaus every 30 days or so, and the majority of ratings can be refreshed by as many as 20 points within three months.
Checking on a regular basis, perhaps once a month, will give you a fair idea of your rating. You certainly should not have to wait months or years to see a positive change.
Myth #5: Credit Cards Are the Best Way to Build Your Credit Score.
Having a credit card and making your payments on time each month can help you improve your credit rating, but it’s not the only way, nor should you rely on multiple ones to do the job. Your credit score will benefit more from having various kinds of credit in your name, and different ones carry different weight. For example, a car loan or a mortgage (known as installment loans) can be more influential for your rating than several credit cards.
Try to get a few different types of credit on your report and be sure to make your payments on time. This will show that you can handle diverse debts with varying payment criteria.
Myth #6: Your Income Appears on Your Credit Report, So It Affects Your Chances of Securing A Loan.
Your income is not listed on your credit report. Your earnings only impact your score if you cannot afford to make your payments, which may happen if you take on more debt than you can handle. Lenders may estimate your income, but they will not be able to see your earnings just by checking the report itself. Provided you continue to make payments on your debts, potential lenders will have no reason to assume you cannot manage the loan you’re applying for.
Having a low credit score versus a god credit score, or one somewhere in between, will certainly have a significant impact on future financing. That is exactly why it’s vital to understand these credit score myths; to ensure you have a stronger grasp of how credit systems differences may affect your ability to secure loans. There’s no need to be intimidated or overwhelmed by them. The more you understand about your credit score, the better you will be able to manage it.
At Fairless Motors, we understand how difficult it can be to get an auto loan with low credit scores, which is why we want to guide you through the process of securing the financing you deserve, regardless of your credit score. After deciding on the right financing plan, we’ll go over our extensive inventory of quality pre-owned vehicles to match you with the right car or truck at an affordable price. We’ll take you through the process that ends with you driving home happy behind the wheel of your next used car.