Some of the myths we will debunk include:

o. Closing out old, inactive accounts will help your score o. Opening (but not using) accounts will help your score o. Paying off old debts and judgments will help your score o. Dispute letters can clean up your bad credit

Remember, each of the ideas listed above are misconceptions that don’t help your credit rating at all. In fact, when you act improperly based on these myths, they can actually hurt your FICO credit score. I could add dozens more myths about credit scores. But here are three quick ones that come to mind: ** MYTH**: My age, race, gender, marital status, income or where I live can impact my credit score. FACT: None of those factors are taken into consideration at all when your FICO credit score is determined. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to for credit scoring to take into account race, age, color, nationality, religion, sex and marital status.

MYTH: I pay cash for everything and don’t buy on credit or use credit cards, so my credit score should be excellent. FACT: Having no credit history or never using credit can have a negative impact on your credit score. It helps your FICO score to have some history of paying credit obligations on time. FICO reports that people with no credit cards tend to be higher risk than those who have credit cards, use them periodically, and manage their debt responsibly.

MYTH: The most important factor in my credit score is whether or not I am “maxed out” on my credit cards. FACT: The single biggest determinant of your FICO credit score (35% of it) is based on how well you’ve paid your bills on time in the past. Your FICO score takes into account whether or not you’ve had late or missed payments, how far past due your bills were, how long ago the late pays occurred, as well as whether you have any collection items or public records, such as a repossession, foreclosure or judgment against you. How much credit you’ve used, and whether or not you are “maxed out” accounts for 30% of your FICO credit score.