Will Checking My Credit Report Hurt My Score?

A person’s credit score is one of the most important numbers in their life. It can help to determine if credit will be extended to you and what interest rates will be charged. It can also impact your ability to get certain jobs or even rent an apartment. Even though a person’s credit score is so important, many people still do not know enough about it. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about credit scores and credit reports.

Should I order all my credit reports at one time or space them out over 12 months?

Each person can receive one free copy of their credit report from the three major credit reporting companies once every 12 months. Getting all three credit reports simultaneously allows the consumer to compare them. Requesting them at different times enables people to see if any changes have been made or new information added to their credit throughout the year. When to get those reports is a matter of personal choice.

Does checking credit reports often hurt your credit score?

The simple answer is no. Looking at your credit report does not impact your credit score. That is called a soft inquiry. You can view your credit report as many times as you like. On the other hand, giving a lender permission to check your credit report for the purpose of granting you a loan is considered a hard inquiry and does impact your credit score. The more times creditors pull your credit report, the lower your credit score will be. However, having several creditors check your credit score as you shop for a mortgage or car loan does not impact your credit score.

If I pay my bills on time, do I still need to check my credit report?

Yes. Your credit score and credit report contains a variety of information. It’s important to check them from time to time to make sure the information it contains is accurate and up to date. Your credit report is constantly changing based on a range of factors. It is wise to look at your credit score and credit report a few times each year to monitor those changes, identify inaccuracies, and make sure the proper changes are being made to reflect your current credit status.

Are the three credit agencies the ones that grant or denying credit?

No. Those agencies simply give a report on the activity on your credit report and your payment history. Their job is to compile information on your activities related to your use of credit and whether or not you pay your bills on time and in full. The decision on whether or not you will be given credit is made by the individual lenders to whom you apply for money to make purchases or lines of credit. Credit reporting agencies simply make it easier to get the information lender need to make a decision.

If I pay off a delinquent debt, will my missed payments be removed from my credit report?

No. The list of your missed, never made, late payments, or bankruptcies remain on your credit report for between 7 to 10 years. Only time clears negative marks off your credit report. Stay away from credit repair companies that promise to take information that’s negative but accurate of your credit report. All they can do is help you dispute and remove inaccurate information. That is something you can do for yourself if you take the appropriate steps.

27