IN MY CREDIT SCORE?
Everyone knows credit scores are important — just look at how many online
services and smartphone apps are dedicated to checking your credit. Yet when
it comes to understanding how credit scores work, many people are in the dark.
Several factors help determine your credit score, but what doesn’t go into it might
surprise you. Here’s a look at some common factors that, contrary to popular
belief, have no bearing at all on your score with the three major credit bureaus.
Your Marital Status
Being married means your spouse’s name might appear
on your credit report. However, in the eyes of the credit
bureaus, you and your spouse have separate credit reports
with individual scores.
Your income affects your credit score only if you don’t
make enough to pay your bills on time. Paying late is sure
to impact your credit score even if you’re earning a six-
Your Debit Card Activity
Not all plastic is created equal when it comes to credit
bureaus. No matter how often you use your debit card or
for whatever reason, that activity won’t raise or lower your
credit score one iota.
Receiving government assistance such as Social Security
or other entitlements doesn’t impact your score in any way.
Your Credit-Checking Activity
Although the credit bureaus note each time your credit is
checked, checking it yourself is considered a “soft” inquiry
and does not affect your score. If a lender or a credit card
issuer checks your credit, however, that is considered a
“hard” inquiry, and your score will suffer a small hit.
Being arrested or sent to jail won’t affect your credit
score on its own; but civil judgments do. Bankruptcies,
tax liens, overdue child support or alimony, and monetary
judgments all impact your score.
Place of Residence
Regardless of where you live, your location does not
factor into your score — although it may impact your
property taxes and/or insurance rates.
Overall Net Worth
Likewise, simply having a lot of money in the bank or
through investments won’t help your credit score if you
don’t use that money to pay down your debts. Generally
speaking, credit bureaus are only interested in how
responsible you are, not how rich you are.
Your student loan information definitely factors into your
score, but the extent of education you’ve received doesn’t.