Trying to improve your credit? Don't waste time on factors that won't help your score, including these five factors.
Working on your credit score is a great goal - after all, a strong score opens tons of financial doors for you. Before you set out to raise your credit score, however, it’s also important to understand what has no impact on your score. Concentrating your efforts on something that won’t make a difference can be frustrating, so make sure you’re working smarter - not harder.
Here are several things that seem like they might affect your credit score, but don’t:
- Your employment history might appear on your credit reports, but it won’t affect your score. Similarly, your salary has no impact on your credit score, either.
- The amount of money in your bank accounts or other financial assets doesn’t impact your credit score.
- Looking at your credit reports is considered a “soft inquiry” and doesn’t affect your credit score. To see your credit report, you can either subscribe to a service or you’re entitled to a free copy from each of the three bureaus once a year - simply visit AnnualCreditReport.
- Marriage or divorce might impact your finances, but don't expect either to necessarily bump your credit score up or down. Credit scores are by individual, not per couple.
- It’s true that the connections between credit scores and age, gender and location are interesting, but none of this matters when it comes to your score. Fair lending laws prohibit this kind of tracking, as it’s unfair and unreasonable.
While it’s important to consider what doesn’t matter when it comes to calculating your credit score, be sure you know what does.
Generally speaking, pay your bills on time consistently, keep the ratio of credit you use to the amount you have low, be sure to have a good mix of types of accounts, don’t open a lot of new accounts simultaneously and grow you history over time.
And be sure to check out, “What Affects My Credit Score?” for more details on how to be sure you’re doing all the right things to improve your credit score.