Myth Busters: Why you’re not always hurting your credit

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Your credit score is coveted, at least it should be based on those three numbers and how they dictate everything from an interest rate to if you’ll be given a loan of any kind.

But as much as you pay attention to that score and make sure any move you make won’t hurt it in the long run, you might be overthinking it.

There are plenty of misconceptions about your credit and subsequent score, mostly centering on how you can damage it.

For instance, plenty of smart shoppers have vetoed the idea of having their credit score inquired on because of the thought that it is going to hurt your score. There is a difference between a hard and a soft inquiry, with the former being what happens when you buy a car or house or there’s something of value being attached to the score and approval.

The soft inquiry, mostly centering on you checking it yourself, won’t matter at all. Even the hard inquiry is only going take a few points off, so if you are buying a car for instance and go to multiple dealerships, you won’t take too much of a pounding by having it check more than a few times.

For those of us who struggle with credit and debt, you also might be inclined to inquire about a credit counseling or consolidation program in the hopes of managing your debt and having one reasonable payment per month.

That route often is viewed as a negative by the masses, given that those credit cards are closed immediately upon signing on for this type of deal in addition to the creditors issuing a letter saying as much.

But even though that all sounds daunting, a credit counselor and service that wipes out your cards and consolidates your debt is a good thing, and won’t affect your credit negatively. It’s relatively a neutral move in the sense that you’re not going to be penalized, other than maybe a few points and not being able to apply for any new credit as far as cards go for the next couple of years.

All that doesn’t sound so wonderful, but in actuality its a good thing since you shouldn’t be applying for new credit since you’ve struggled so mightily with what you recently consolidated though a company that specializes in it.

Your credit score certainly is pertinent as far as managing your debt and making sure you’re excelling and able to get the home, car and credit you want, but don’t be misled by misnomers about that score and what exactly is affecting it one way or another.

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