- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers
- Tabletop Photography: Using Compact Flashes and Low-Cost Tricks to Create Professional-Looking Studio Shots
- Low Budget Shooting: Do It Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
1. Your credit score will be harmed when you access your credit reports from the three major reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Wrong! You might lose a few points when a lender or creditor checks your reports because you’ve applied for a loan or a new credit card. Plus, when the creditors’ inquiries occur within a short period of time (two or three weeks) your credit score will be less affected. If you do plan to apply for a loan, then do all your homework and know which companies you will be calling before you do so.
2. Another tall tale is that closing old accounts is beneficial to your credit score. Just the opposite is often true. Leaving older accounts open, even if you don’t plan to use them, shows a longer record of good payment history. A better strategy is to pay the total balance on a newer, active account, close it and use the older account again.
3. Don’t let anyone spin you a yarn that when you pay an old, outstanding and previously uncollectible account balance it disappears from the various credit reports. Balances that creditors or collection agencies have written off will remain on your credit report for 7 years, bankruptcies for 10 years, even if you settle with the creditor before the end of these time periods.
4. The credit report of a joint account holder or co-signer of a loan is not negatively affected if the party expected to make the payments fails to do so. As a co-signer, you are always equally responsible for the financial obligations from the creditor’s perspective. The best practice is not to be a co-signer unless you’re absolutely sure about the other person’s ability to pay. If a co-signing situation goes sour, then you may be able to disengage yourself from the obligation by the creditor removing you from the account or note.
5. One tall tale that would seem to be believable is that you’ll earn points for your credit score when you pay any particular debt in full. Credit is a much more complicated process; and determining your credit score is the result of a complex formula with many factors. What may seem to be a major step on your part does not necessarily directly translate into a better credit score. In fact, the only believable story is that managing your financial obligations responsibly during a significant period of time will have a more positive effect than any other action you might take.
6. You may hear this one around the old credit campfire: Your credit score will improve if you open a number of new accounts. Technically, this can be correct, especially if you have no consumer credit accounts, and want to establish credit. For many photographers, however, who probably already have a good credit standing with several accounts, it’s not a wise strategy to open new accounts simply to improve a credit score.
7. The law and the credit card companies are doing the job of protecting your accounts from fraudulent charges. This is true to a certain extent; however, you may be more vulnerable to identity theft, which could have a more devastating effect on not just a few credit card accounts, but your entire financial picture, and even your life.
The bottom line is you must be ruthlessly vigilant about with whom you share your personal information, such as finances and credit accounts and the numbers associated with them, Social Security, account numbers, passwords, etc. Part of this responsibility is to be very wary about unsolicited offers and questionable Web sites asking for such information.
Your feedback is important to thousands of PhotographyTalk.com fans and us. If this article is helpful, then please click the Like and Re-Tweet buttons at the top left of this article.