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Does It Hurt Your Credit To Check Your Credit Report

You Can Check Your Own Credit With No Impact On Your Score

Does checking your own credit report affect your credit score?

When you check your own credit whether you’re getting a or a it’s handled differently by the credit reporting agencies and does not affect your credit score. If you are applying for a mortgage and haven’t already checked your credit report for errors, do so now. You can get a free copy of your credit report at If you find any errors, get them corrected as soon as possible.

How Long Will Hard Inquiries Stay On My Credit Report

As mentioned before, your FICO score will be affected by hard inquiries for the duration of two years from the date that they were reported. If you have multiple hard pulls or credit checks within a short period, it is important to remove them as quickly as possible to minimize their impact on your credit score.

When you remove hard inquiries from your credit report, you will get a higher credit score soon. However, that doesnt mean that the hard inquiries will automatically drop off your credit reports within a few days. It can take up to 45 days for them to disappear from your reports. This depends on the credit bureaus, so make sure to check with them in order to get an accurate answer.

Hard Inquiries Or Hard Credit Pulls

These can potentially have a negative impact on credit scores.

A hard inquiry usually happens when a lender is checking your credit in order to make a lending decision, such as a bank deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Hard inquiries may occur when other types of companies check your credit as well, like a cell phone company deciding whether to give you a cell phone contract or a collection agency checking your credit for skip tracing purposes.

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About Consumer Protection Bc

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we cant help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at

How A Hard Inquiry Impacts Your Credit Score

Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?

Although hard inquiries remain on your credit report for two years, FICO only considers inquiries from the last 12 months when calculating your credit score.

For example, if you see a hard inquiry listed on your credit report but it was from over a year ago, it wouldn’t influence your credit score or deduct any points from it.

Your credit history also plays a role in how much a hard inquiry would impact your credit score.

According to FICO, one credit inquiry on most people’s credit reports will take less than five points off of their FICO score. They say “most” people because not everyone has the same credit history. If you have a healthy credit history and credit score to begin with, it’s likely that any hard inquiry on your credit report would do very little damage to your score, or even none at all.

Hard inquiries tend to have a greater impact on the credit scores of people with a short credit history or few credit accounts. This means that for those just starting to build their credit, a hard inquiry can knock off more points from your credit score than it would for someone who has a long credit history. But don’t let that prevent you from applying for credit. It’s OK to have inquiries periodically it indicates you are trying to build credit but you just don’t want too many hard inquiries on your credit report in a short amount of time.

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Ways To Help Manage Hard Credit Inquiries

When you know what can trigger hard inquiries, you may be able to better manage their impact.

Here are some other tips to help you manage hard inquiries on your credit:

is another easy way to monitor your credit. With CreditWise, you can stay on top of your VantageScore® 3.0 credit score and TransUnion credit report for freeâeven if youâre not a Capital One customer. With the CreditWise Simulator, you can even explore the potential impact of your financial decisions before you make them.

Can Affirm Affect Your Credit Score

Yes. Using Affirm can affect your credit score. I was frankly appalled when I began researching whether Affirm affects your credit score. Most of the answers, even on websites I would otherwise deem credible like Investopedia, make it seem like Affirm doesnt impact your credit score.

The only two situations where Affirm would not affect your credit score is first, when you apply to get approved for an Affirm loan. Affirm does a soft pull of your credit history which typically does not impact your credit score. So initially, no, Affirm likely wont impact your credit score.

The second instance where Affirm would not impact your credit score is if you end up qualifying for a 0% interest loan with only 4 biweekly payments or a 0% interest loan and your only option was a 3 month repayment period. This information comes directly from Affirms website here. All other loans through affirm are reported to Experian. Since we know that the average user pays 18% in interest to Affirm, that means the majority of users are not getting 0% interest with Affirm which means the loan is being reported to Experian.

Its worth noting that Affirm allows the merchant to have a say in the interest rate on purchases made with Affirm.

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How Credit Karma Works

The three nationwide credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, each allow users to access one free credit report annually at the website: Credit Karma provides free weekly updated credit reports and free VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion. Experian offers a free credit report and free FICO score directly from its website.

The service helps users dispute errors on their credit reports, reduce high interest, pace their mortgage, calculate how long it would take to pay off their credit card debt, and determine interest rates and terms for different loans. Intuit, the maker of TurboTax and other tax software products, bought Credit Karma for $8.1 billion in December 2020.

Whats In A Credit Score

Does Checking My Credit Hurt My Credit Score?

First things first, what exactly is your credit score, and how it is calculated? Your credit score is a numerical reflection of the information that is found in your credit report or a representation of your ability to repay a debt as agreed. It can also show your use and responsibility with using credit.

In other words, its a simple number that carries a lot of weight.

There are many different versions of credit scores, with different scoring models and different types of scores, but almost all of them are based on the following factors:

Lets take a closer look at just how much each of these factors can impact your score.

FICO Scoring Model Calculation Factors

Number of Inquiries 10%

The only category above that could possibly be impacted by checking your credit score is account inquiries or new credit opened. As youll notice, the bulk of your credit score factors reflect more on your responsible use of credit paying your bills on time, being responsible with the amount of credit you use, and being able to handle different types of credit .

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How Many Points Will A Hard Inquiry Impact Your Credit Score

A hard credit inquiry could lower your credit score by as much as 10 points, though in many cases the damage probably wont be that significant. As FICO explains: For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores.

FICO also reports that hard credit inquiries can remain on your credit report for up to two yearsbut when FICO calculates your credit score, it only considers credit inquiries made in the past 12 months. This means that if your credit inquiry is over a year old, it will no longer affect your FICO credit score.

How Soft Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

So whats the bottom line? Several hard inquiries at once, such as from applying for a number of credit cards at the same time, can have a significant impact on your credit score. And keep in mind that any hard inquiry will stay on your credit report for 2 full years although any impact the inquiries have on your score will fade much sooner than that.

Heres how those inquiries impact your credit score. With 4 hard inquiries in 90 days, you could expect your credit score to drop by more than 50 points. By contrast, the same number of soft inquiries doesnt affect your score at all.

Dont let this stop you from shopping around when seeking a new car loan or a mortgage loan. If you have several hard pulls all for the same product, such as a car loan, within 14 days, they will all only count as one pull. This is to allow the consumer make a good financial decision without feeling pressured to go with the first lender they speak with.

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What Is A Soft Inquiry

A soft inquiry, sometimes referred to as a soft credit check, can occur for a few reasons, including:

  • When you check your own credit score
  • When an employer or landlord runs a credit check with your permission
  • When a lender runs a credit check to preapprove or prequalify you for an offer

Soft inquiries don’t have an impact on your credit score because you’re not officially applying for credit. So when you fill out a form to get prequalified for a mortgage, student loan, personal loan or credit card, there are no strings attached.

Once you take the next step and apply, however, the lender will make a hard inquiry, which will show up on your credit report for others to see and can temporarily lower your credit score.

The Difference Between Your Credit Score And Credit Report

Does Checking Your Credit Hurt Your Score?

There are three credit bureaus that produce : Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. When you open a credit card or loan, the lender will report activity to at least one credit bureau, which will then add it to your credit report. Your credit reports show both current and past credit accounts, as well as legal judgments like liens and bankruptcies.

A credit score is a three-digit number that ranges from 300 to 850. The score is determined by an algorithm that takes all the items on your credit report into account. The higher the score, the more responsible you appear as a borrower.

There are two main companies that produce credit scores: FICO and VantageScore. FICO is responsible for 90% of all credit scores used by lenders, but VantageScore is more common with free credit scoring websites. Both companies use similar scoring models to determine your scores, so there should only be a slight discrepancy between a FICO score and a VantageScore.

There are dozens of credit score iterations, and which one is used depends on the type of lender looking at it. For example, the credit score an auto lender sees may be slightly different than the one a mortgage lender sees.

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Can I See My Credit Report

You can get a free copy of your credit report every year. That means one copy from each of the three companies that writes your reports.

The law says you can get your free credit reports if you:

Someone might say you can get a free report at another website. They probably are not telling the truth.

How To Get Your Credit Report

You can check your credit score for free using the Chase Credit Journey, and if you want to do a deeper dive into your credit history, you can review your credit report using this feature as well.

You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at

You have the right to a free credit report from or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.

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Examples Of Hard Credit Inquiries And Soft Credit Inquiries

The difference between a hard and soft inquiry generally boils down to whether you gave the lender permission to check your credit. If you did, it may be reported as a hard inquiry. If you didnt, it should be reported as a soft inquiry.

Lets look at some examples of when a hard inquiry or a soft inquiry might be placed on your credit reports. Note: The following lists are not exhaustive and should be treated as a general guide.

What Can Lower Your Credit Score

Does Checking Credit Karma Hurt Your Credit Scores?

While checking your own credit score won’t change it, there are plenty of other things that can affect your credit score negatively. Here’s a quick breakdown of each factor that influences your FICO® Score:

Because there are so many variables that go into calculating your credit score, it’s impossible to determine exactly how much damage a negative item may cause to your score. But if you notice your credit score drop and are wondering why, look at these areas to find the likely reason.

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How Applications Affect Your Credit Scores

You have multiple , but the most common credit-scoring model is used by FICO. Since new applications for credit make up 10% of your FICO credit score, simple math indicates your credit score could fall as much as 70 points if you have a 700 credit score. Fortunately, it’s not likely that you’ll lose that many points over a single credit card application because there’s much more information included in your credit score that will “absorb” the impact of one credit card application. However, making multiple applications in a short period of time impacts your score more significantly. The exact impact on your credit score depends on the other information in your credit report.

Whether your application is approved or denied does not directly affect your credit score. If you’re approved, opening a new credit card could cost you points in the age of credit history area because it lowers your average age of credit history. Being denied, on the other hand, won’t impact your credit score. The average age of your credit accounts makes up 15% of your credit score.

The good news is that only credit inquiries made within the past 12 months are used to calculate your credit score. And after 24 months, the inquiries fall off your credit report completely. That time limit only applies to credit inquiries. Other negative credit report information will remain on your credit report for longer.

Inquiries From Potential Employers Or Insurers

MythIncreasingly, consumers credit reports are being accessed by entities with no plans to lend you money. Employers, insurers, and landlords can check on your credit, but these inquiries have little or no impact on your credit report.

If your prospective employer wants to look at your credit report, you have to sign a consent, Ellman says. The law also requires that the inquiry show up on your credit report. Similarly, if an insurer is looking at your credit report as part of the application process, you are almost always going to have to consent to letting the company pull your credit history.

But inquiries from an employer or an insurer wont have an impact on your credit score, he says.

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Why Credit Karma Won’t Hurt Your Score

Credit Karma checks your FICO score on your behalf and therefore conducts soft inquiries. Soft inquiries differ from hard inquiries in that they leave your credit scores untouched. Multiple hard inquiries done in a short period of time can knock off as much as five points per inquiry and can stay on the record for upward of two years.

Credit bureaus tend to deduct points, particularly if the person has a short or only a few accounts. Credit bureaus interpret multiple hard inquiries as showing that the person may be a high-risk borrower. The bureaus suspect that the person may be desperate for credit or was unable to get the credit needed from other creditors. MyFICO reports that people with multiple hard inquiries are eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than other people with no bankruptcies on their reports.

Is It Worth Paying For A Credit Score

Does Checking Your Credit Hurt Your Credit Score?

Sites like MyFICO provide access to your FICO credit score when you sign up for a monthly membership. The monthly fee ranges from $19.95 to $39.95 a month. Unlike free credit score sites that only show one score, youll see the FICO scores used by auto lenders, mortgage lenders and other lenders that use industry-specific scoring models.

Access to those scores is typically not worth the monthly fee because theres usually little difference between credit scores. Dont sign up for a paid service if youre worried about your credit score. Instead, use a free monitoring tool, minimize your credit card use and pay all your bills on time. Those strategies will help you improve your score and qualify for lower interest rates.

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