People with credit problems can run into a wide range of problems. Not only can they have problems getting loans, renting an apartment or finding a job, but when they try to rebuild their credit they often run into wild myths about what they should do. It can be hard to figure out the right steps to take to rebuild a credit score, but having a little knowledge can go a long way.

Myth 1:  “My credit report is permanent and there’s nothing I can do to change it.”

This myth is one of the more damaging, especially to those consumers with errors on their credit report. Not only do you have the right to inspect your credit report, but if you find any mistakes on it, you can challenge those mistakes with the credit reporting bureau. You’d be surprised how many mistakes can appear on a person’s credit report, often without them knowing. Do yourself a favor, look your reports over carefully, especially when you have a bad credit score.

Myth 2:  “I can just declare bankruptcy and start over.”

Wrong! Bankruptcies are one of the worst things to happen to your credit history. Not only do they decimate your score, but the bankruptcy has to remain on your credit report for at least seven years, and sometimes as long as ten. Bankruptcy can be a viable option, but it isn’t going to solve your credit score problems any time soon.

Myth 3: “I’ve declared bankruptcy and so I’ll never be able to get good credit again.”

This is the opposite of second myth, and it too is wrong. Yes, a bankruptcy will hurt your credit score severely, and it will be some time before you can start getting your score back up to a respectable level.  But once the bankruptcy is finished, you can start rebuilding your score again. It will take some time, but as long as you can show you’ve become a reliable debtor, you’ll be able to get a good credit score in time.  A bankruptcy hurts, but it isn’t the end of the world. Not by a long shot.

Myth 4:  “I’ll just pay off all my credit cards and not use them anymore. That’ll improve my score.”

Wrong again. Credit scores represent your reliability as a potential customer to creditors. The only way they can get an accurate picture of how safe an investment you are is if you use credit wisely. Abandoning your credit cards and not having any credit at all will lower your score. The key to good credit is to use it responsibly, not to abandon it completely.