Biggest Credit Score Myths and #ALSicebucketchallenge – MPSOS160

You can't turn on the TV or have a conversation with someone about money without the subject of credit scores coming up. With all that awareness you would think that everyone would have a basic understanding of how credit works.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation being spread around, creating credit score myths.

Biggest Credit Score Myths podcast

There are many myths surrounding the credit score; believing these myths can not only wreck your finances, but keep you from reaching your financial goals.

The five biggest myths about credit scores

Myth #1 – You have to carry a balance to have a good credit score

This is a dangerous myth that gives people an excuse to keep their debts. The five credit score factors (payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of debt) are all about how well you “manage” debt. If you pull your credit report there is nothing about how you manage your normal bills (electric, cell phone, rent), unless you are late on those payments.

Myth #2 – The credit scoring system is a government run program

The government has nothing to do with credit scores! Can you imagine the chaos?! Credit scores are monitored and reported by publicly and privately held companies that turn a profit.

Myth #3 – You need a credit score to rent an apartment

Rent payments do not show up on your credit score, why should you need a credit score to rent? Some apartment complexes will only look at your credit history when considering you as a tenant. Others will pull a background check and pull your credit report to look for negative information. There is no rule or law that you must have a credit score in order to rent.

Myth #4 – A good credit score will help you build wealth

A credit score is based on debt, debt products and the ability to pay back the debt. It won’t help you build wealth, but it can help you get a better interest rate on even more debt.

Myth #5 – The more you borrow, the better your score

To a point, this is true. But the credit score is based on ratios of available credit vs. balance owed plus payment history.

By borrowing too much you can tip that scale and cause the credit score to drop. This is why many people say that you should use a credit card but just pay it off at the end of the month.

If we simply avoid debt in the first place, we can use that money to save and invest.

These goals are much easier to accomplish when you don’t have the extra weight of debt hanging around.

Call to Action

  • Base your financial decisions on long term goals.
  • Don’t get distracted by the lure of a good credit score.
  • Remember that a credit score is based on debt and debt products.
  • To be financially fit we need to consume less, save more, and pay attention – not interest.

Also on the show

Marketing gets us to think about problems and solutions, it gets our attention and manipulates our way of thinking. The latest example of this that we've seen is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

My friend and past podcast guest, James Kinson, accepted the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.

In the video, James challenged me to pour a bucket of ice on my head in the next 24 hours or send in a $100 donation to ALS research. I am traveling this week and don't have access to a big bucket of ice.

Also, I lost my dad to ALS last year so I will GLADLY send a check.

Steps to buying a cash car with James Kinson - MPSOS159
Squirrel Away Your Change With Acorns App - MPSOS161


  • Prudence Debtfree

    Reply Reply August 21, 2014

    The more I read posts about debt-reduction and personal finance, the more I realize that the voice questioning the whole premise of credit scoring is in the minority. It really is incredible how credit scores have become a sort of sacred cow. It’s all about keeping the debt machine going. Thanks for using your voice.

    • Steve Stewart

      Reply Reply August 24, 2014

      Credit scores have become a sacred cow? Love it!

      I agree, why does everyone’s lives revolve around credit scores when they didn’t exist 30 years ago?

      Thanks Prudence. Keep spreading the good word!

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