Although Laura Adams makes some great points about what she coined “credit scores lies,” I have to point out that “#6” and “#7” on her list aren’t lies and she’s pretty much wrong. (This is why it’s important for people to not rely solely on the internet for information and to verify the accuracy of the information that they read!)
Regarding #6, there are credit repair professionals that can absolutely help you raise your credit score. Her statement, “if someone offers to raise credit score for a fee, just walk away” is too broad and could make you miss on an important opportunity to raise your score fifty to hundred points as quickly as possible (which she failed to mention can be as quick as a three to five months.) A credit repair specialist would also counsel you as what exactly to do to help your score even more in the long term (which can be as long as one to three years depending on how bad your credit is to begin with.) A better statement would be to be careful and research your credit repair person thoroughly before handing over any money.
Adams’ statement in #7 is inaccurate according to our sources. What lowers your score is not paying your bills on time. Settling for less than the amount due does not lower your score; in fact, our sources tell us that settling a debt for less than the amount owed is far better for your credit score than showing the amount as past due and unpaid. Moreover, making making minimum payments on your credit cards over an extended period of time is bad for your credit score, too. In our opinion, the first step in rehabilitating your credit score is getting out of debt. Then there’s the other point Adams’ fails to mention: banks don’t loan money anyway if you’re maxed regardless of your credit score. Why not? Being maxed out is a red flag.
The better advice would be to not pay thousands of dollars in balance and interest to save a credit score that can do nothing for you. And like Adams’ does correctly mention, as old negative credit accounts age, they mean less and less in the credit score equation.