Will Your Score Drop If You Check Your Credit? Leading Credit-Management
Provider Dispels This and Other Credit Misconceptions
TORONTO, Aug. 6 /CNW/ -- Canada's mortgage debt has reached record levels
of almost $850 billion, double what it was a decade ago. And for three
straight sessions, the Canadian dollar has weakened. Now more than ever,
consumers need to take control of their finances to help ensure they will have
access to beneficial loan terms moving forward.
"From the credit side of the equation consumers in this economic
environment had better know their facts from the prevailing myths that are out
there," says Tom Reid, Director of Consumer Solutions for TransUnion.ca. "Only
when you truly understand how your credit history is established, what's
contained in that history and how you can work to shape it moving forward, can
you put yourself in the driver's seat rather than being just a passenger
without control over your credit destination."
According to a recent study by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada,
eight in ten Canadians have never requested a credit report. According to
Reid, "While this may seem like widespread credit apathy, it's more likely
linked to a widespread, misguided belief that checking your own credit will
somehow harm your credit standing moving forward."
So what common credit myths may be preventing you from effectively
managing your credit?
Myth: Your score will drop if you check your credit.
Fact: Fortunately, this one is definitely not true. Checking your own
credit profile and score is counted as a "soft inquiry" and doesn't harm your
credit at all. On the other hand, "hard inquiries" which can bring your score
down, occur when you apply for credit or certain other services.
Myth: Closing old accounts will clean up your report.
Fact: Some people advocate closing old and inactive accounts as a way to
manage their credit. In most cases, closing your older accounts will make your
credit history appear shorter which can negatively impact your overall credit
Myth: Once you pay off a negative record, it is removed from your credit
Fact: Negative records such as collection accounts, bankruptcies and late
payments will remain on your credit reports for 6-14 years, depending on the
type of information. Paying off the account won't remove it from your credit
history, but will show the account is "paid."
Myth: Being a co-signer doesn't make you responsible for the account.
Fact: When you open a joint account or co-sign on a loan, you are taking
on legal responsibility for the account. Any activity on these shared
accounts, good or bad, will show up in both people's credit histories.
Myth: Making a lot of money will help your credit score.
Fact: Your income does not appear on your credit report nor is it used to
calculate your credit scores. Your salary is important to lenders in terms of
your capacity to make payments, but it is a separate factor from your credit
Myth: Debit card use helps your scores.
Fact: Debit cards are just another means of accessing your chequing or
other bank account. They do not appear on your credit report and do not factor
into your credit scores.
Myth: "Credit bureaus" determine the information on your report.
Fact: "Credit reporting companies" compile information that is provided
directly and voluntarily by consumer creditors and other sources. If you have
a credit card, home equity or auto loan, or make other monthly payments on
credit accounts, details of your payment track record are likely being
reported to the credit reporting companies by those parties for inclusion in
your credit file. For this reason, if you have a question about an item on
your credit report, your first call should be to the creditor involved.
Myth: Your credit profile is difficult to understand
Fact: Sites like TransUnion.ca are working to provide consumers with the
tools and knowledge they need to understand and truly manage their credit. The
online Credit Profile provides easy-to-follow categories and graphics so you
can quickly review your information. Additionally, TransUnion offers expert
advice and analysis to help you understand the impact of the information on
Visit TransUnion.ca for more details about managing your credit.
As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion
creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering,
analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve
efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering
comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers,
TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their
credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other
efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in
Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion
provides local service and support in Burnaby, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Montreal,
Quebec City, Rimouski, Charlottetown, Halifax and St. John's. Visit
http://www.transunion.ca to learn more.
For further information:
For further information: Steven Katz of TransUnion, +1-312-985-2373,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Aimee Eichelberger, +1-312-568-7324,
email@example.com, for TransUnion