ORLANDO, Fla. – For 15 million Americans, the only blemish on their credit report is medical debt. But that’s about to change. Starting September 15th, Experian, Equifax and Transunion will remove medical debt from a credit report once it's paid. But medical debt isn’t the only thing that surprisingly won’t hurt your credit score.
Your income, even if it’s low, does not hurt your credit. Experts say it’s more about how you use your money, not how much you make. When you’re in the market for a new car or a home your credit score will take a hit when it’s checked by a lender. But what happens when you shop around and several lenders check your credit? No need to worry. Multiple credit checks for the same type of loan within a few weeks are counted as just one inquiry.
Having late or missed payments on your utility or cell phone bills also will not affect your score, because these businesses don’t send your payment information to credit bureaus. However, if your account is past due and sent to a collection agency, they will list it on your credit report. If you get married and find out your spouse’s credit score is lower than your blood pressure, don’t stress out, it will not affect you unless you try to apply for loans or credit cards together.
Even though having a lender check your credit will hurt your score, you can check your credit report as many times as you want and it won’t drop any points. But make sure you do it through a reputable source like annual-credit-report-dot-com. By law, Equifax, Experian and Transunion are each required to provide you with one free copy of their credit report each year. A good strategy is to request a report from a different agency every four months; that way you’ll be able to check your report three times a year for free.