Understanding how credit scores are calculated isn’t exactly rocket science. Yet, so many people run rampant with tales about their credit scores that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. So, what is fact and what is fiction?

Here are five of the biggest credit score myths, totally busted.

Checking Your Score Lowers It

This is perhaps the most widespread myth of all, but simply checking your credit score will not lower your score. The difference is in the type of inquiry. Soft inquiries, when you’re merely checking the status of your credit score, won’t affect your credit. Hard inquiries, when you’re being evaluated for financing or opening up a new line of credit, will affect your score, but only slightly.

Your Job Matters

What you do for a living and your income are completely separate from your credit score, despite what some people may believe. Credit scores are determined from information found on your credit report, which includes how much credit you use and how much debt you owe or pay off. While your occupation may indirectly affect how well you can pay off your debts, it won’t factor into your score.

Additional Card, Lower Score

Initially, signing up for a new credit card may lower your credit score. This is because opening new lines of credit gives the impression that you are desperate for money. Although, if you make timely credits on your new card over time, your score is actually more likely to go up.

Close Accounts for a Better Score

Some people believe closing a credit card account will help your score. This isn’t always true. Closing your account may actually hurt your score. This is because your total credit limit will be lowered. Instead of closing the account, it’s best to instead leave the accounts open and try to get them in good standing.

Credit Is Set in Stone

Will bad credit last forever? Simply put, no. But good credit won’t just magically appear overnight. Be proactive about paying your bills on time, lowering your credit utilization, and your score will likely improve. If you keep making poor credit decisions, expect your score to stay low or drop even further.