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Does Looking At Your Credit Score Lower It

I Don’t Need To Worry About My Credit Score Until I’m Older

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False. The minimum age at which you can apply for credit is 18 and that’s when you should start worrying about your credit score. Financial experts recommend young people start building credit as soon as possible. The length of your credit history is a big factor in your credit score, so the sooner you establish credit the better.

For those just beginning their credit journey, check out CNBC Select’s recommendation for the best first credit card. If you’re a student, check out our list of the best cards for college students.

Soft Inquiries Dont Affect Your Scores

Checking your own credit report or credit score wont lower your credit score. Because soft inquiries only appear on copies of credit reports that consumers request for themselves, they will never have any impact on your credit score.

A creditor also wont be able to see the soft inquiries on its copy of your credit report. Therefore, credit scores aside, it cant consider the soft inquiries during its underwriting process at all.

How To Minimize The Number Of Hard Inquiries You Have

If you want to minimize the number of hard inquiries, its not a good idea to overdo credit applications.

Are you taking a car loan or a mortgage? Try to cut off your shopping time by taking no more than 45 days. This type of inquiry is contemplated by the credit bureaus as just one credit inquiry. Consequently, depending on the scoring version used by the lender, the typical rules dont apply as long as the inquiries fall within a short time frame. The FICO scoring model ignores loan inquiries that have occurred within the past 30 days. And multiple inquiries that fall within a 45-day or 14-day period count as only a single one the one you ultimately go with.

Keep in mind that missing a payment and having an elevated balance on your credit card have a greater negative impact on your credit score.

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Some Actions Could Lead To A Hard Or Soft Inquiry

There are some cases when an action you take could lead to either a hard or soft inquiry, depending on the organization thats checking your credit:

  • You request a credit line increase on one of your accounts.
  • You open a new checking, savings or money market account.
  • You apply for a utility, cable, internet or mobile phone plan.
  • You apply to rent a home.

You may want to ask the organization whether it will do a hard a hard or soft pull before you submit your application or request, and may want to hold off if there will be a hard pull.

When Does Checking My Credit Score Lower It

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Hard inquiries, also called hard pulls, are the kind that can cost you points. They happen when someone pulls your credit for the purpose of deciding whether to extend credit to you. These hard inquiries should not happen without your knowledge or consent.

You can review your hard inquiries on NerdWallets free credit report summary, which updates weekly. You can also check your free credit reports at to see who has looked at it in the past two years. Consumers currently have access to those reports weekly.

A hard inquiry might cost you up to five points according to FICO, the creator of the most widely used scoring formulas. With VantageScore, an increasingly popular credit scoring model, a hard inquiry is likely to cost even more.

In contrast, a soft inquiry or soft pull occurs when you or a creditor looking to preapprove you for a loan or credit card checks your score. A soft inquiry has no effect on your credit score.

So, if you apply for several credit cards close together, you might see a significant drop in your credit scores. Before you begin applying, take time to conduct research on the best credit cards for your specific financial needs, while keeping eligibility requirements in mind.

A hard inquiry stays on your credit report for two years, but any effect on your credit score fades sooner than that.

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Too Many Requests For New Lines Of Credit

As mentioned above, your FICO score does not take into consideration any consumer-initiated or promotional inquires into your credit record. That means you can check your own credit score without risk of damaging it and that companies that make inquiries before sending you promotional notices will not affect your score, either. The 10% of your FICO score that is based on new credit includes the number of recently opened accounts , the number of recent credit inquiries , and how long it’s been since new accounts were opened or credit inquiries were made.

Why Its Important To Check Your Credit Score

Viewing your credit score can alert you to potential problems, like a fraudulent account opened in your name or a bill you forgot about that went to collections.

If you check your score regularly, you can deal with these problems as they come up. If you dont check your credit score until youre applying for a mortgage or other major loan, you may discover a huge mistake that takes weeks to fix.

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What Can Lower Your Credit Score

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.

How Credit Inquiries Can Hurt Your Credit Score

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  • A single hard inquiry may lower your credit score by 5 points or less
  • But the effect will vary based on the strength of your overall credit profile
  • A large number of inquiries in a short period for different purposes can be more harmful
  • And even if your credit score is high you could be denied new credit on their presence alone

As alluded to above, a credit inquiry can lower your credit score, but the impact is generally rather inconsequential.

Typically, a single credit inquiry will take less than five points off your credit score, but this can range depending upon the type of inquiry and the overall makeup of your .

If you have a limited credit history, one inquiry will have a greater impact than a consumer with a solid 10-year credit profile.

But a large number of different types of inquiries in a short time period can be a red flag for potential creditors, and could result in a noticeably lower credit score.

And even if you do have a good credit score, a large number of inquires in a short time span could cause a creditor to decline your application for fear that youre getting in over your head.

That said, dont fret too much about pulling your own credit report every now and then as not all credit inquiries count against you.

If you order a credit report online from any of those free credit report sites it wont be factored into your score because its not an application for credit.

Its simply a check-up, and doesnt signal a greater credit risk for the consumer.

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Does Checking My Credit Lower My Credit Score

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Checking your credit score wont typically impact your credit scores, but when someone else checks your credit, a record of that credit check could remain on your credit reports for up to two years and may impact your credit score.

Knowing when and why credit checks occur could help you manage your credit, improve your credit score and ease concerns about monitoring your own credit or rate shopping before taking out a loan.

To get credit monitoring from top credit repair companies visit this page for more information.

Keep An Eye On Your Credit Inquiries

Remember: Checking your own credit scores is an example of a soft inquiry. And soft inquiries donât impact your credit scores.

Hard inquiries, on the other hand, happen when a lender checks your credit report after you apply for credit. And since hard inquiries do affect your scores, youâll want to control how many âhardâ hits your credit takes.

Monitoring your credit can help you keep an eye on where you stand.

Learn more about Capital Oneâs response to COVID-19 and resources available to customers. For information about COVID-19, head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

The CreditWise Simulator provides an estimate of your score change and does not guarantee how your score may change.

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Short Length Of Credit History

A short credit history will lower your credit score. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do to improve this factor is to keep your accounts open for as long as possible. If you have an account that is old, dont close it down because closing it could reduce your overall account age and lower your credit score.

Checking Your Own Credit Score Wont Lower It But Other Credit Checks Might Have An Effect On Your Score

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Ever wonder if checking your own credit scores will lower them? Great question! The short answer is noâchecking your credit scores yourself wonât hurt them. However, other types of credit checks could cause your scores to dropâthough the drop could just be temporary and only by a few points.

Read on to learn more about the two kinds of credit checksâsoft checks and hard checksâand how only hard checks can lower your scores.

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An Inquiry On One Report Wont Influence Credit Scores Based On Other Reports

A credit score depends on the information in one of your credit reports, but it isnt affected by your credit reports from the other two bureaus. Although major lenders often report your accounts and payments to all three credit bureaus, a creditor may only check one of your credit reports before making a lending decision.

As a result, a hard credit inquiry could show up on one of your reports, but not the others. When thats the case, it will only potentially impact credit scores that are based on the report that has the inquiry.

How Often Can I Check My Credit Score

You can check your credit score as often as you want. If you sign up for an account with a free site, youll receive regular score updates via emailsometimes as often as every week.

A basic rule of thumb is to view your credit score at least once every few months, especially if youre in the process of building your credit. A recent study by Consumer Reports found that 34% of users had an error on their credit report. If you can catch a credit mistake early, you may be able to avoid problems like getting denied for a loan or apartment lease.

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Understanding How To Check Your Credit

When it comes to monitoring your credit, its important that you fully understand how to check your credit. To help with this, weve broken down some of the most common misunderstandings about how to check your credit, including what goes into your credit score, the difference between hard and soft inquiries, and more.

Being An Authorized User On Someones Bad Account

If you haven’t looked at your credit report recently, you should do it now

When added as an on someone elses credit card account, you inherit the payment history of that card. This can give your credit a boost if the primary user has never missed a payment and keeps the cards balance low. But the opposite can happen if the account is delinquent, the balance is high or it has any other score-killing negative items.

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Your Mortgage Credit Score Might Not Be What You Expect

Many home buyers dont realize they have more than one credit score. And the score a mortgage lender uses may be lower than the one you see when you check it yourself.

Finding out late in the game that you have a lower mortgage credit score could be an unwelcome surprise. You might end up with a higher interest rate and/or smaller home buying budget than youd planned.

So before you apply, its important to understand how lenders look at credit and what score you need to qualify.

Your Credit Report Contains The Following Information

Personal Information

  • Identity verification

Each of your credit accounts will be given a rating that includes a letter and a number.


Installment Accounts that receive an I are installment style accounts that are paid off in predetermined fixed amounts. For example, a car loan.
Open Accounts that receive an O are open, which means they can be used up to a preset limit. An example of an open credit account is a line of credit.
Revolving Accounts that receive an R are considered revolving credit because your payments change based on how much of your limit you borrow. A credit card would receive an R.
Mortgage Depending on the credit bureau you pull your report from, your mortgage may or may not show up. If it does, it will be represented by an M.


Account is in collections or bankruptcy

Did you know that bad credit can affect your daily life? Learn more here.

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So Does Checking Your Credit Score Hurt Your Credit

It depends!

To recap, the most important takeaway here is that checking your credit does not hurt your credit score. There is a difference between hard and soft inquiries hard inquiries happen when you apply for a new line of credit, and a soft inquiry is when you check your own credit. Soft inquiries dont affect your credit score, but hard inquiries can lower your score from just a few points to sometimes many more.

Checking your credit is an important first step to maintaining good credit health. Checking your credit score regularly can be a good indication if something is off in your credit report. Before you apply for a loan for an expensive item, such as a car or a house, its smart for you to be aware of what potential lenders will see when processing your application. Knowing where you stand gives you the chance to shape up your credit, if necessary, before submitting your application.

How Long Do Inquiries Stay On Credit Reports

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  • While these types of questions are constantly being disputed
  • We know that inquiries only remain on credit reports for 2 years
  • And FICO just factors them into scoring for the past 12 months
  • So theyre only meaningful for a short period of time and typically dont have a strong effect on scores anyway

A reader once asked me, Do credit inquiries ever go away? Although there seems to be much dispute about this, credit inquiries only remain on your credit report for two years.

Additionally, FICO scores only factor in inquiries as part of their scoring methodology for the previous 12 months.

In other words, even if they are present on your credit report, theyre only meaningful from a credit-scoring perspective for a single year.

The rest of that 24-month period they just serve as additional information to you and your creditors.

Additionally, Fair Isaac, the founder of the FICO score, has improved its scoring model to distinguish rate shopping versus a consumer attempting to open a large number of different accounts.

The latter borrower would probably see their credit score drop because a series of new credit accounts tends to lead to greater credit risk.

But a consumer with multiple inquiries related to the same type of loan within a 14-45 day shopping period will generally see no adverse effect to their credit score, as only one inquiry should be counted against them.

For example, think of a person who shops with multiple lenders to obtain a home loan.

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The Only Time Your Credit Score Could Drop As A Result Of A Credit Check Is When You Apply For New Credit

Examples include applying for any type of loan, such as a mortgage, auto loan, auto lease, a new credit card, or an increased credit line with an existing card or loan.

These are the only instances when a credit check will lower your credit score, as new credit or inquiries for new credit pose new risks, regardless of how great of a borrower youve proven to be in the past.

In the eyes of creditors, consumers who are actively seeking new credit pose a greater risk of default, whether that materializes or not.

Of course, the stronger your credit profile, the less impact these, dare I say, harmful credit checks will have on your credit score.

As a rule of thumb, the more hard credit inquiries you have in a short period of time, the more your score will drop, so exercise moderation.


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