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One of the most important aspects of applying for a mortgage is credit, for both the borrower to assess and the lender to evaluate. A borrower’s credit history and score can be a pivotal factor in a lender’s decision to approve or deny a mortgage. Knowing how credit is determined, and how to improve it if needed, is crucial to ensuring a successful outcome.

Below are five common credit myths, recently revealed in survey by TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.

  1. My score will go down if I check it.
    Forty-three percent of those surveyed believe the misconception that checking their credit score will lower it. A “hard inquiry,” or one that comes from a lender, could—but a “soft inquiry,” or one made by a borrower, will not, according to the agency.
  1. My score will go down if I close an account.
    Thirty-five percent of those surveyed believe closing a credit card account will lower their credit score. Closing an account can lower a score, especially if it is longstanding, according to the agency—but if the card history is short or the limit is low, closing it could be harmless to a score.
  1. My utility bills impact my score.
    Fifty-one percent of those surveyed believe utility payments are factored into their credit score—a partial truth, according to the agency. Some utility companies share all payment information with credit reporting agencies, while others share only late payment information.

Source: TransUnion

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