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Okie Life

Helping fellow Okies navigate financial life.

Mythbusting: Credit Score Edition

May 1, 2024

What does this magical number that follows you your whole life mean? If you need a refresher on what exactly a credit score is or any other money mumbo jumbo, check out our financial terminology guide here. Once you’ve got the basics down, we’re here to fill you in on whether these common credit myths are fact or cap.

Myth #1: Checking My Score Will Hurt My Credit🚫

False! Taking a peek at your credit score occasionally doesn’t negatively affect it. Doing so is called a “soft pull.” Now, a “hard pull” will affect your score, which is when you apply for a loan or a new credit card. This typically means that you could be adding more debt to your plate, so it could drop your score a few points. Now, if you're confident about repayment, even a hard pull may be a small step towards better credit.

Gif reading: "Wow! My own credit card!"

Myth #2: My Credit Score Only Matters For Big Purchases💰

False! Your credit score can be used for more than just making those monumental purchases like buying a new car or a house.

Gif of Michael Scott from the office pulling up in a new car.

This number can impact your ability to apply for even smaller things. For example, if you’re looking to rent an apartment, or apply for a new credit card, if your score isn’t looking too great, you most likely won’t get approved. On the flip side, if you do get approved, you’ll be hit with a high interest rate.

Myth #3: No One Can Help Me Build Credit But Me🤝

False! A family member or friend can help you on your credit-building journey. Do you know someone you trust who already has good credit? If so, they can co-sign on a new credit card or loan for you. The only thing to keep in mind is your comfort with the terms. If you miss a payment, this could hurt their score along with yours!

Gif reading "my credit score is the best thing about me"

Another way a loved one could help is by adding you as an authorized user on their account. This means you can use their credit card to make purchases. Just don’t get carried away! This is a great opportunity to work on healthy spending habits. Most authorized users have the ability to view the account balance on the credit card’s website or mobile app. Keeping an eye on your spending and making sure it doesn’t get out of control is the perfect way to prepare for when you have a card of your own one day!

Myth #4: Credit Isn’t Important Until I’m Older🙅

False! You can start building credit as soon as you’re 18. It’s best to get started as soon as you can. Your older self will thank you later. The length of your credit history has a big impact on your score, so starting the second you can is your best bet. Now, that doesn’t mean taking out as many credit cards as you can the second you turn 18! But starting somewhere will help you in the long run.

Gif reading: "Run it on my card"

Getting Your Credit In Shape

Making sure your credit score is on the up is just the tip of the iceberg of your financial journey. There are many ways you can actively work towards your goals, including finding some powerful money mantras that will help you manifest your money dreams and live your best life. Whatever trick you use, it’s important to take it one step at a time, and soon, your goals will not seem too far in the distance.

The information and topics features are for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. All financial situations and circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. Seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, or legal counsel to obtain guidance specific to your needs.