Myth #8: Staying debt-free will give you a perfect credit score.
Truth: You actually need to pay off debt in order to prove that you can manage loans responsibly. If you've never taken out any sort of loan, it can be difficult to persuade a credit card issuer to give you a credit card. (That's why college students often need their parents to co-sign their credit cards.) If you start slowly by using credit cards responsibly and paying all of your other bills on time, you can build towards a strong credit score.
Myth #9: It's easy to fix errors on your credit report.
Truth: If only this were so. It can actually be quite difficult to correct mistakes, and most credit reports contain them. While credit bureaus are required by law to correct errors, the process can be tedious. The Federal Trade Commission recommends including copies of any documents that support your position as well as the copy of the report itself, with the errors circled. The FTC offers a sample dispute letter on its Web site. While it's tempting, avoid paying for a credit-improvement scam: Dozens of companies offer to help improve scores for a fee, but many involve questionable tactics. Instead, just stick with the basics of paying all your bills on time, staying well under your credit limit, and keeping accounts in good standing over many years.