What's In Your Credit Report? If You're Like Most People, Not What You Think

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — There are four major factors impacting your credit score: How timely are your payments? How long have you been using credit? How much of your available credit have you been using? What outstanding payments are lingering? Most everything else just isn't going to be a factor when determine whether or not you're going to get a mortgage or a shiny new credit card. So what are some common misconceptions about what's on your credit report or in your credit score?

Income

One of the biggest misconceptions is income. Gerri Detweiler, the director of consumer education with Credit.com, notes that there's been a slight increase in the number of Americans who are aware that income does not impact their credit score, according to a recent Consumer Federation of America poll. However, many people are still under the impression that if they make more money that will result in a higher credit score.

"You would think that making several hundred thousand dollars a year would figure into how your credit score is calculated," says Randy Padawer, a consumer education specialist with LexingtonLaw. Of course, added income makes you more attractive to a mortgage broker, who will use your income to determine how much house you can afford. But as far as your credit report, credit score and other lending instruments, your income just isn't going to be a factor. This is mostly because there's too much chance that the credit bureaus will get it wrong, opening themselves up to lawsuits.

On a related note, your employer might be reported, but is generally not considered a factor in determining your credit score. Nor, for that matter, are your savings notes John Heath, directing attorney of LexingtonLaw. "If you're sitting on a giant nest egg, you're probably going to find it easier to keep current with your bills," he says. Still, that won't count when it comes to your credit report. And while how long you've been at your current job is a factor when determining a mortgage, it won't be considered when, for example, applying for a credit card.

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