Here are some myths about your credit score:

Checking my credit score hurts my credit score – only “hard” credit inquiries, in which a financial firm is considering making a loan to you, may affect your credit score negatively.

If I pay my bills on time, that’s all I need to worry about – this assumption forgets about the importance of credit utilization, which is the percentage of debt you owe compared with the total available credit that’s been granted to you.

Carrying a balance helps boost my credit score – one common misconception is that to build a strong credit score people should demonstrate activity by keeping a balance on a loan at all times.

It hurts my credit score to comparison shop for a mortgage, auto or student loan refi – the reality is that the scoring models assume you’re going through a shopping process. If they see different lenders pulling your credit score around the same time, they bundle multiple requests as a single query.

Don’t fall victim to these common myths!