We get questions about credit and credit scores all the time, and we rounded up a few of our favorites to run by local credit expert Key Strey of Scorewell Inc. in San Ramon.
- Will opting out of credit card offers help my score?
Unfortunately, there is nothing in the scoring algorithms that analyzes this.
- Is it possible to bump hard inquiries off your credit report?
A “hard” inquiry is generated when creditors pull your report or score after you apply for a loan or line of credit. Your score falls because it shows you’re interested in taking on more credit and therefore, more risk. Other inquiries are considered “soft,” such as those triggered by you, your employer or companies sending credit card offers in the mail.
Some consumers believe if they pull their credit report every day to load up on “soft” inquiries, they will bump off the hard ones that weigh on their credit score. Doesn’t work.
- Does closing old accounts boost your score?
Closing accounts typically won’t help your score and could possibly hurt it, The results can shorten your credit history eventually and leave you with a smaller amount of available credit, both of which can harm your efforts to build better credit.
The length of credit history shows how seasoned of a borrower you are, so the more positive experience you have, the better. Having more available credit helps to keep your utilization rate low. The utilization rate is how much available credit a borrower uses; the lower the percentage, the better.
- I’ve heard that opening many accounts will improve your credit score?
Some consumers with credit problems believe opening many accounts will be proof that they can handle credit. Actually, it has the opposite effect.
- I can’t make all my payments this month – how do I know which ones I should definitely pay?
If you’re in the unenviable position of having to miss a payment, choose carefully. Missing a mortgage or auto loan payment will ding your credit more than skipping a credit card payment will. Those are more substantive debts, so they carry more weight in the credit score.
Of course, missing a payment is a last resort. Pay the minimum payment to keep accounts current.
Do you have any other questions you would like us to get an answer for? Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a quick call at (925) 487-2353.