One of the myths surrounding personal credit scores is that checking your own credit reports and scores will make your score go down. That myth has been around for nearly as long as credit reporting agencies.
This myth hurts home buyers because it discourages them from checking their credit report in order to know what’s in it. If your report has erroneous information, at worst it could result in you being turned down for a loan. At best, it could cost you thousands of dollars by paying a higher interest rate than you should.
The simple fact is that checking your own scores does not affect them in any way. It’s what’s known in the industry as a “soft” inquiry. When you make the request, it will show up in your report, but it does not affect your score.
A “hard” inquiry from any potential creditor can adversely affect your credit score because it represents potential new debt that doesn’t yet appear in your credit report as an account. One piece of advice: If you have a friend who works at a bank or car dealership, don’t have them pull a credit report just so you can see it. If you don’t have a long credit history, this hard inquiry could affect your score enough to cause a problem.
Requesting a copy of your own credit report will not affect your credit scores. An inquiry will be added to your report as a record that you requested it. This type of inquiry is sometimes called a “soft” inquiry because it is shown only to you. Therefore, you can check your own credit report as often as you like with no effect on your credit scores.