Your Money MattersConsumer Reports


Consumer Reports: Credit score facts and fiction

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Posted at 6:20 AM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 09:37:26-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - How much do you know about credit scores? And what helps or hurts your credit can be downright confusing. So Consumer Reports wanted to clear things up with its own credit score quiz.

“Overdue library fines will not affect your credit," says Consumer Reports Money Editor, Tobie Stanger. They are reported by municipalities and municipal court records, but they won’t go on your credit report.”

Next, unpaid parking or traffic tickets?

“Parking and traffic tickets, like library fines, come from municipal records, and they aren’t collected by any of the credit reporting agencies," says Stanger.

And opening up a bunch of credit cards at the same time?

“Opening up a bunch of credit cards in a short period of time can affect your credit report. It suggests you might be in credit trouble," says Stanger.

Does frequently checking your credit ding your report?

“You can check your credit report at any time without it affecting your credit score," says Stanger.

CR says you don’t have to pay a credit-monitoring service just to check your score. Instead, go to a site like that will do it for you for free.

Consumer Reports also say it’s important to check your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus simultaneously before shopping for a major loan like a mortgage. That way, you can correct any errors before applying for a loan.