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What not to sweat
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What not to sweat

There are a couple of items pertaining to your credit report that might seem alarming but really aren't a big deal. Closed accounts in good standing don't need to be taken off your report. In fact, leaving them on your report can help.

Credit inquiries also aren't as damaging as many people believe, says Sweet. "Honestly, a hard inquiry is very small impact on your credit score, and it's short term. It stays on for two years, but it has the most impact only within six months."

A hard inquiry will appear if you applied for a loan or credit card. It can also crop up if you enter into a service contract such as a cellphone or cable TV plan.

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