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Top 12 Credit Myths

Thursday, 24 Jan 2008 | 5:45 PM ET
John Ulzheimer
John Ulzheimer

ByJohn Ulzheimer

Myth 1. Close credit card accounts if you're not using them because it will improve your credit scores

Myth 2. Avoid credit after a bankruptcy or some other credit disaster

Myth 3. Paying your bills on time is the best way to get a good credit score

Myth 4. If you correct errors on a credit file with one credit reporting agency, it will be picked up and corrected by all four of them

Myth 5a. All of your credit reports contain identical information

Myth 5b. All of your credit scores will be the same

Myth 6. Your salary or your level of education positively or negatively impacts your credit scores

Myth 7. A divorce decree will release you from financial responsibility for an account

Myth 8. If you have bad credit, it's a lifelong sentence

Myth 9. Check cards or debit cards will help build or rebuild your credit scores

Myth 10. Opening new credit cards and transferring balances will help your scores because you're hiding your debt across more accounts

Myth 11. Paying or settling a negative account such as a judgment, lien, or charge-off will remove that item from your credit reports

Myth 12. You should try to get old, good accounts removed from your credit reports once they have been paid in full or closed