Credit Score Myths & Facts
Brought to you by PNC Bank

Having a good credit score can help you get the best rates when you borrow money. Make sure you know what can impact your number.

Which of the following people could NOT ask to see your credit report.
It’s very important to keep your credit score high because:
A credit score of 680 is considered excellent.
Credit repair companies can improve your credit score.
Closing your credit cards can:

Right!

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The Credit Check Challenge

If other people are checking your credit, why shouldn’t you? After all, you’re entitled to get one credit report every 12 months — absolutely FREE — from each of the three official credit bureaus. Go to annualcreditreport.com and either order all three credit reports now to compare for any discrepancies or get your first one now, then put reminders in your calendar to get the other two at later times in the year, so you can keep an eye on your credit reputation all year long.

GET YOUR FREE REPORTS

Session Q & A

  • If there is a delinquency on your credit report, such as a missed payment or bankruptcy, there is nothing you can do about it. Typically, a missed payment will remain on your credit score for seven years and certain bankruptcies as long as 10 years. A delinquency will only be removed from your credit score if it was an error. Errors do happen, that’s why it is a good idea to get your three free credit reports—one from each bureau—every 12 months. To correct an error, follow the instructions on the bureau’s website. Once you have proven that it was a mistake, it can take 10 or more days for the error to be removed from your credit history.

  • The advantage of a joint mortgage is that you get to double up your income, which could increase your chances of getting a loan. However, if you’re going to borrow money, you should make sure that you qualify for the best interest rates. The first and most important consideration for lenders is your credit score. When you apply for a joint mortgage, the bank will evaluate both your credit scores. If one of you has a low score, depending on the lender's underwriting policies, the lender may balance out the scores or focus on the low score. You need to figure out whether doubling up your income or going with the best credit score will be the best option for you.

  • It depends. Most lenders report account information to the credit bureaus around the close of a customer's billing cycle or at the end of the month. The credit bureaus have your information in a database, and when someone requests a credit report, they generate it using the most current information. This means that you don’t actually have a credit score until it is requested, and it could easily change from one hour to the next.

  • Your credit score has an impact on many different areas of your life, including some areas that you wouldn’t think have anything to do with borrowing money. It’s the first and most important consideration for lenders. If your credit score has improved, it’s a good idea to check and see if you can lower your interest rates across the board. You don’t want to be handing over more money each month than absolutely necessary.

Luke Landes

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary, a blog about personal finance, money management and investing, and has been cited as a must-read blogger by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Consumerism Commentary was listed as one of the most useful blogs by MSN Money and has received mentions in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine. Luke has also written for publications including US News & World Report and PCWorld, and his stories have been syndicated on Yahoo Finance.

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary, a blog about personal finance, money management and investing, and has been cited as a must-read blogger by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Consumerism Commentary was listed as one of the most useful blogs by MSN Money and has received mentions in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine. Luke has also written for publications including US News & World Report and PCWorld, and his stories have been syndicated on Yahoo Finance.

More by Luke

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Blog Post
 

How to Qualify for a Mortgage without a Steady Paycheck

Luke Landes

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