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What’s a credit score myth? It’s information about credit scores that’s been shared so many times – either by word of mouth or on social media – that people may accept it as true, even if it’s not.  
If you’re working to build or rebuild your credit, knowing if they’re true or not can help you make better decisions. Here are 4 common credit score myths and the truth about them.

1. checking your credit hurts your score

Surprise, it doesn’t. Every time someone checks your credit report, a notation called an inquiry is added to it even if you’re the one checking. An inquiry can only affect your credit score if it’s tied to any credit applications you’ve submitted.1

If you apply for a loan or a credit card, your score might fall because an application suggests you’ll be adding debt. But if you simply look at your own credit report, it won’t affect your score.1 

2. you can’t do anything to improve a bad credit score

This is definitely not true. Your current credit score is based on the credit history found in your credit report. While you can’t change what’s in your credit past, there are steps you can start taking now to help your credit future.   

That means making payments on time, keeping your account balances low and learning more about credit and finances. Also, as any negative credit history gets older, it will have less of an impact on your credit score.2 

3. closing an unused credit card or account will help your score

It’s unlikely it’ll help your score, but it could lower it. That’s because closing an account reduces your total available credit, which will make your credit utilization rate go up.1   

What’s your credit utilization rate? It’s the total amount of all the revolving credit you’re using divided by the total of your revolving credit account lines. 

One last note: If an unused card or account creates a temptation to spend, you may be better off in the long run by closing the account.1

4. if your partner has a good credit score, you don’t have to worry about yours

Sorry, lovers. You need to keep an eye on your credit and do your best to keep it in good shape no matter what your relationship status is. That’s because your credit report is linked to your Social Security number, not your partner’s.2 
When you apply for credit together, the bank or credit company will check your partner’s credit and yours. If theirs is good and yours isn’t (or vice versa), you could pay higher interest rates or even be turned down.1 

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