8 Things That Do NOT Hurt Your Credit Score

It seems that credit scores are surrounded by even more mythology than, I dunno, juice cleanses. And we millennials, the ever-flexible and ever-resourceful generation, are perpetuating some of the very worst credit myths out there.

A lot of them are based on the belief that "we don't really need credit." I mean, how many of us are buying houses and cars anyway? If you're planning to rent and Lyft for the rest of your life, why bother putting time, effort, and money into caring what the hell your credit score is? Aren't all these things just hallmarks of "settling down," staying put, and giving up on our free-wheeling dreams?

Not quite. "None of us know what’s coming in the future," explains credit and banking expert Sean McQuay of Nerdwallet. "Even if you don't want a house or car — even with that unattached approach to life, you need good credit to start a small business. Landlords check your credit; your future employers will check your credit." If you're forging ahead into your future with a terrible credit score, you might be surprised when it finally catches up with you.

Another myth, McQuay explains, is that millennials have bad credit because we’re bad with finances. Nope: We’re just young. "It takes a long time to build up your credit score," McQuay explains. "It’s not a measure of how good you are with your own money; it’s how good you are with someone else's (the bank's) money. If I gave you $100 and you gave it back immediately, that doesn't show me you’re trustworthy. If you hang onto it and give it back a year later, that's another story."

Plus, it's more tough than ever for millennials to start building credit early. Why? Well, if you were in college with us old folks prior to 2009, you were likely bombarded by credit card companies on campus, urging you to open a card. The Credit Card Act of 2009 made that illegal. Now, plenty of young people are making it through college and even through their 20s without ever opening a credit card.

"If teens have learned anything about finances, it’s that credit card debt is bad," says McQuay. "They’re not getting the full story."

So what is the full story? Well, first of all, you should open a credit card, use it, build your credit, and never use a debit card again. Second of all, don't believe everything you hear about what's good for your credit score and what isn't. To help you tell the myths from the facts, we worked with McQuay to round up eight things people think will hurt their score — but are actually good for it.

More from Work & Money