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Credit Myths Busted: What Americans Get Wrong About Credit Scores

Credit Myths Busted: What Americans Get Wrong About Credit Scores

A 2024 NerdWallet survey highlights common misconceptions about credit scores. Many Americans hold incorrect beliefs, such as thinking that leaving a small balance on credit cards is better for scores than paying them off in full. However, paying off balances completely and timely is crucial for maintaining high credit scores because it positively impacts payment history and keeps credit utilization low. Another myth is that checking your credit score can lower it; in reality, it doesn't. Regular checks are beneficial for monitoring credit health and spotting potential identity theft. Conversely, when lenders run "hard inquiries" for credit checks, scores can temporarily drop. Some believe those with bad credit can't get credit cards, but many options exist, including secured cards that require deposits. Lastly, using "buy now, pay later" services typically doesn't improve credit scores since most plans don't report to credit bureaus. Understanding these facts can help consumers make more informed financial decisions.

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