When I Check My Credit Score, Do I Get Penalized? What to Know about Monitoring Your Credit Health

When I Check My Credit Score, Do I Get Penalized? What to Know about Monitoring Your Credit Health

Is my credit affected when I check my credit score? If you have ever asked this question, you are not alone. This article explains some of the basics of what you should know about monitoring your credit.

Many people believe the myth that checking their credit report can negatively affect their credit score. While credit reporting agencies do note any requests that you make to view your score, it does not lower that important three-digit number.

Inquiries are classified as either soft or hard. Soft inquiries—for instance, when you access your own report—do not affect your rating. On the other hand, hard inquiries can affect it, at least temporarily.

Let’s take a closer look at how these types of inquiries work.

What Happens When I Check My Credit Score? Soft Inquiry vs. Hard Inquiry

Many things qualify as a soft inquiry. The following are the most common:

  • You check your own credit score.
  • A potential employer checks your credit as part of the hiring process.
  • A landlord runs a credit check prior to renting to you.
  • A lender preapproves you for a loan.

None of these scenarios affects your rating. Hard inquiries may be a different story, though.

Hard inquiries usually happen when you apply for credit, as laid out in the following examples:

  • You apply for a mortgage.
  • You apply for student loans.
  • You apply for a credit card.
  • You apply for an auto loan.

Applying for any type of loan will show up on your report, and it can temporarily lower your credit score.

How Many Times Can You Check Your Credit Score Per Year?

If you are still wondering, “how often can I check my credit score?” here is the answer: as often as you want or need to. In fact, you should check your credit regularly, especially if you are trying to raise it. You should also make sure to check it before you apply for any type of credit or loan. Doing so can help you fix any problems beforehand so you can avoid being denied. It is best to check at least a few months before applying for a loan so that you have enough time to fix any issues.

Aside from doing a check before applying for funding or credit, you should also check your credit report annually. Knowing your score is a good way to know the general health of your credit, but your report provides a more detailed view.

Help Me Check My Credit Score So I Can Get Better Rates

Do you need to improve your credit rating so you can get qualified for the loans you need at rates you can afford? Help is available! At U.S. Credit Defense, we are credit experts. Don’t’ Wait to get in touch with us today so we can discuss the best strategies for your situation.