You can’t underestimate the importance of having good credit.
A healthy credit score paves the way for many financial advantages, such as low interest rates on credit cards and loans. You can enjoy other economic benefits like lower premiums on your car and home insurance policies or wowing potential employers who check your credit during the hiring process. Additionally, you’ll have a higher chance of approval when looking for a new home to rent or not having to worry about a deposit for utilities or your phone.
As you make efforts to build your credit, knowing which factors can or can’t impact it can help you worry less during the process. US News My Money explains ten things that don’t affect your credit score.
Reviewing Your Credit Report
When you order your credit report to review it, this is called a soft pull, which doesn’t hurt your score. If you’ve held off from ordering your information from the three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), you should do it soon.
From now until April 2021, you can get your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com. Reviewing your credit report ensures you catch errors, fraud, and gives you peace of mind that your identity is secure.
This may or may not come as a surprise, but your income is not recorded in your credit report. So if you’re worried that a drop in income can hurt your score (especially during the pandemic), you don’t need to worry.
There is no relationship between your wages and your credit. Your rating can be in great shape whether you have a job, are receiving unemployment benefits, or live from one paycheck to the next.
However, where your income can affect your score is if it hurts your ability to afford your bills or make on-time payments. Late payments are a critical aspect of your score.
Your Personal Information
Your credit report only contains limited information about you, such as your name, past and present addresses, Social Security number, birthday, and publically available details like bankruptcy.
Factors such as race, gender, education level, marital status, religion, political affiliation are not listed on your report, so they can’t be used to determine your credit score.
Debit Card Purchases
Credit reports only contain accounts where you borrow money, such as a loan or credit card. Your checking and savings accounts do not go on it. Unlike credit cards, debit card activity is not recorded, so your debit history can’t be used to build your credit.
Getting Rejected For Credit
If you applied for a loan or credit card, but the lender rejected you, you might be concerned that it will impact your credit score. However, your report doesn’t mention whether your application was denied or approved — just that you submitted one.
Besides a small, temporary hit from the hard pull the lender performed, you won’t see any negative marks for being rejected.
Paying Small Businesses
When you pay a small business for their product or service, these transactions are not recorded on your credit report. That’s because the credit agencies have stringent rules about which companies can report consumer activity, and for most small businesses, it’s not possible.
If a business doesn’t submit your payment activity to the credit agencies, your payment history with said merchant won’t hurt your rating. But, if you default on your payment and the company gives your account to collections, it will be reported to the credit bureaus.
Paying Another Person’s Bills
If you want to help someone out by covering their bills, you should do it because it’s a generous act, not something that helps your credit. It doesn’t matter who pays the bill; the report will still be listed under the account holder’s name.
Although your score can take a slight hit when applying for a line of credit, many credit score systems are advanced enough to understand when you’re simply comparing rates to find the best deal. They usually overlook these inquiries or lump them together if they happen in a short time frame. So feel free to shop away and get the best rate for you!
If you get married, you still have a separate credit report. If your partner has poor credit, it may impact your chances of approval for a joint credit card or loan account, but it won’t affect your personal history.
Adding An Authorized User To Your Credit Card
Having an authorized user doesn’t offer any benefits for your credit score, but if they rack up a load of debt and you’re suddenly unable to afford minimum payments, your score could tank.
- Adams, Laura. “Surprise! These 10 Factors Won’t Impact Your Credit Scores.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 12 Mar. 2018, creditcards.usnews.com/articles/factors-that-dont-affect-your-credit-scores.