The information about credit scores can seem a bit muddled sometimes. What lowers your credit score? How can you make it better? If you check it, does that hurt your score? Here are some things that DON'T affect your score, regardless of what you may have thought in the past, according to NotMadeofMoney.com.
Having a low or high or middle-of-the-road interest rate on your auto loan or credit card has no affect on your credit score. While it may affect your ability to pay on time, your credit score will not reflect your interest rates. In fact, your credit score will most likely determine the interest rates you receive, so it's important to feed your credit score a healthy diet of paying on time and not borrowing what you don't need, so it can grow up to be a real boy.
Your age has no bearing on your credit score. However, loan underwriters may use your age to determine your creditworthiness, which is why you provide your date of birth when you apply for a loan or a credit card. If you're 23 and have a limited credit history but a great score, a loan officer may still require you to meet other criteria.
Pulling Your Own Credit Report
Fortunately, credit reporting companies categorize the inquiries on your credit report: a "hard" or a "soft" inquiry. When a credit card company, a financial institution, or another lender pulls your report, that counts as a "hard" inquiry and lowers your score. But when you pull your own report annually, the company notes it as a "soft" inquiry, and your score is unaffected.
So, you're super cool and make a million dollars a year. Guess what? Your credit score doesn't care. Similarly, if you're dirt poor and have next to no income, your credit score also doesn't give a flying cow. However, your income does matter when you're applying for a loan or a credit card -- the companies need to know you can make your payments.
Payments That Aren't Recorded
Some monthly payments typically aren't reported to credit bureaus, such as cell phone payments, rent, banking fees, and child support. However, if you go AWOL and stop paying these companies, they may turn your account over to a collection agency--which DEFINITELY lowers your credit score. So keep making those payments on time, and although it won't raise your credit score, being on time will keep your score right where it is.
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