It won’t. It won’t. It won’t!
Yet according to the 2016 Capital One Credit Confidence Study, 52 percent of us still think it will. The study also mentioned a new (to me) credit score myth, one that’s believed by about the same number of people.
Some 53 percent of consumers in this country believe that paying their cellphone bills will also improve their scores. Guess what? It doesn’t!
However, if you fail to pay it in full and on time then the delinquency could have a negative impact on your score.
Despite these two major myths, eight in 10 respondents (81 percent) are “confident” they will improve their credit. A good start would be learning to separate credit score myths from credit score realities.
Building and guarding credit
Websites and entire books exist to debunk credit score myths. Here are a few to get you started:
“Building A Better Credit Report,” a free publication from the Federal Trade Commission
“Building A Better Credit Report,” a publication from the Federal Trade Commission
GerriDetweiler.com, which includes a great free book (PDF) called “Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights.” Look for it under “credit resources.”
Sean McQuay’s work at the NerdWallet website. Also on that landing page are tools to improve credit and manage debt.
Credit.com, a site that Business Insider included among the “11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich”
Working within the system
Looking for decent deals on credit cards? Try these sources:
Beverly Harzog’s eponymous website
All the resources in the world won’t help unless you’re willing to do the work of building and guarding your credit. Totally worth the effort: A respectable credit score will help you pay less in interest – maybe a lot less – during your lifetime. Paying with plastic provides some other protections as well.
I know that some people have a hard time managing credit. Some frugality experts think it’s a terrible idea. “Cash is king!” they trumpet, pretending that the current credit-score system doesn’t exist.
In part I agree, since it basically penalizes those who prefer to pay in cash. That isn’t especially fair. However, it’s what we have right now. Work within it.
- Cards and consequences
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- Nearing retirement? Check your credit