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Credit myths and truths

(Updated: 21 November 2023)

Building and maintaining a good credit score is essential to your financial health. A good credit score can benefit you and your business, especially when looking to securing loans, attracting investors, or approaching prospective business partners. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding credit scores that need to be debunked and facts that need to be expanded upon.

Let us take a closer look 6 myths and truths about credit scores.

Checking your credit score regularly decreases your credit score.

This is a false statement, as you can check your credit report as often as you would like, and in most cases, you can do so for free once a year. Keeping an eye on your credit through regular credit report checks is a great way for you to keep an eye on your credit, identify any discrepancies, and monitor your progress when or if you need to improve your credit score.

Paying off debt removes that debt from your credit report.

Paying off your debt is a sound strategy to help improve your credit history, however late payments, defaults, and other derogatory marks can not only affect your credit but can remain on your credit profile for up to 10 years, depending on the infraction. Therefore, paying off your debts immediately will not remove it from your credit report.

Your credit report will be the same across credit bureaus.

Each credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) utilizes their own integrated credit scoring system, designed to calculate a persons’ credit score. However, these systems aren’t necessarily going to consider information the same way, have the same score range or capitulate the same numeric scores. Therefore, receiving the same credit report from all three credit bureaus is highly unlikely.

All debt can be considered equal.

This is far from the truth. Good debt is debt that shows creditors that you are capable of paying your debt on time and can afford to manage a loan. For example, you are paying off the mortgage for a home you purchased. Bad debt, on the other hand, is not being able to manage your finances correctly or struggling to pay off loans. For example, you maxed out your credit cards on a vacation two years ago and are still struggling to pay that back.

Your salary and job title impacts your credit score.

There is no direct link between your salary or job title and your credit score, but rather what you do with your income. A regular income in your back account will allow you to keep a lower debt-to-income ratio and demonstrates your ability to pay your debts.

When you get married your credit score merges with your spouse.

There is no such thing as a joint credit report for couples, married or not. Your credit report is unique to you and linked to your identity number (ID Number). Should you and your partner share joint accounts or debt, you both may see this reflected on your separate credit reports which in turn will affect your credit score.

6 Tips to help you improve your credit score

  • It is recommended to maintain a low utilization of credit by repaying your balances on a monthly basis, requesting a higher credit limit, and refraining from closing your credit cards.
  • Report any mistakes or fraud on your credit report. If you spot any red flags on your credit report such as false information or fraud, get in touch with your credit bureau with the necessary documents to dispute the claims.
  • By making a budget you can easily plan ahead to lessen the impact of potential unexpected situations.
  • Don’t open lots of new accounts all at once or even within a 12-month period as this shows creditors that you are unable to manage your finances correctly.
  • Check your credit score about six months in advance if you plan to make a major purchase, like buying a house or a car, that will require you to take out a loan. This will give you time to correct any possible errors and, if necessary, improve your score.
  • Build your credit score over time by using a credit card responsibly and never missing a payment.


Credit can be a complicated and tricky concept to wrap your head around, especially with all the misinformation out there. However, with a trusted business partner like MarisIT you can be sure you are making sound credit decisions. Find out how to improve your credit score and minimise your financial risks.

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