Credit scores - the truth behind the common myths

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How should you maintain a good credit score?

For many first time buyers, the challenge of maintaining a good credit score is pretty daunting. There’s a long list of factors that affect your score, which makes it difficult to know if you’re putting yourself in the best possible position.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of myths around what affects your credit score – and therefore your mortgage application. Leeds Building Society debunks some of the most common misconceptions:  

1.       There is a credit ‘blacklist’

The truth

There’s no such thing as a credit ‘blacklist’. Your credit score is based on your repayment history and current debts.

If you’re applying for a mortgage, your lender will only use data from credit reference agencies as part of their assessment. Lenders also use internal information and the information you give them when you apply.

2.       The more credit cards you have, the better your credit score will be

The truth

Taking out a number of credit cards before applying for a mortgage won’t necessarily improve your credit score. In fact, it could make it worse.

It’s not about the number of accounts you have, it’s about having a long history of timely and full repayments. This is what lenders are looking for when assessing your mortgage application.

3.       My partner and I will have the same credit score combined

The truth

Every individual has their own credit score. If you have debts then they will appear in your name. If you miss payments, it will be reflected on your credit report.

 Joint debts appear on both individual’s credit reports.

4.       Having lots of money in the bank will result in a good credit score

The truth

Your bank balance doesn’t affect your credit score. However, evidence of good saving habits and making payments on time will improve your score. 

5.       Salary, child support, and other income affects my credit score

The truth

Just like your bank balance, income has no effect on your credit score. It’s about whether you can pay back credit on time, not how much you earn.

If you’re a first time buyer and want more advice on credit scores, visit: http://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/knowledge-base/home-buyers/first-time-buyers-credit-score/

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