September 20, 2023

Myth or Fact? Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?

Discover the truth about whether checking your credit score lowers it. Stay informed and confident!

Does checking your credit score lower it? This question is frequently asked by individuals who are concerned about their financial standing. Many people are hesitant to check their credit score due to misconceptions that it may negatively impact their rating. These concerns often stem from a lack of understanding of how credit inquiries work and the difference between hard and soft inquiries. 

In the following sections, we will explore the facts and dispel the myths surrounding this topic, providing clear and concise information to help you navigate your financial health without unnecessary worry.

Read More: For a comprehensive understanding of how credit inquiries affect your credit score, delve into these insightful guides:

Understanding Credit Inquiries

When it comes to credit scores, two types of inquiries matter: Hard and Soft.

Hard inquiries happen when a lender checks your credit for lending purposes, like a mortgage or car loan. These can slightly lower your credit score for a short time. 

Soft inquiries, on the other hand, occur when you check your own credit score or when it's checked for non-lending purposes. The big question, “Does checking your credit score lower it?” is tied to these inquiries. The answer is simple: checking your own credit score doesn't lower it. That's a soft inquiry, and it has no effect on your score. So, you can check it without worry.

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How Checking your Credit Score works?

Checking your credit score is a straightforward process. Here's how it works step by step:

  • Choose a Platform: Pick a reputable online platform that offers free credit score checks
  • Create an Account: You'll need to provide some personal information to verify your identity
  • Access Your Score: Once verified, you can view your credit score. Some platforms even offer insights into what affects your score
  • Understand the Impact: This is a soft inquiry, so it won't lower your credit score
  • Monitor Regularly: Many platforms allow you to monitor your score over time, helping you understand how your financial behavior affects it

The impact of Soft Inquiries on Credit Score

Soft inquiries are checks on your credit score that don't affect it. They occur when you view your own credit score or when a business checks it for reasons other than lending. So, if you're wondering, Does checking your credit score lower it? When it comes to soft inquiries, the answer is a firm no. 

You can check your credit score as often as you like without any impact. It's a worry-free process that allows you to stay informed about your financial standing. Soft inquiries give you the power to monitor your credit without any negative consequences.

Hard Inquiries and their effect on Credit Score

Hard inquiries are a different story. These occur when a financial institution checks your credit for lending purposes, such as applying for a credit card, mortgage, or loan. Unlike soft inquiries, hard inquiries can slightly lower your credit score for a short period. 

Typically, the impact is minor, around 5-10 points, but it can add up if you have multiple hard inquiries in a short time. This is where confusion might arise regarding the question, Does checking your credit score lower it? People often mix up hard and soft inquiries, leading to unnecessary worry. It's essential to know that only hard inquiries by lenders can affect your score. If you're applying for credit, be mindful of the number of applications, as multiple hard inquiries can signal risk to lenders.

The importance of regularly monitoring your Credit Score

Regularly monitoring your credit score is vital for your financial health. It helps you catch errors, understand your credit standing, and make informed financial decisions. 

Checking your own score doesn't affect it. It's a tool for empowerment, not a trap. So, shake off those fears and make a habit of keeping an eye on your credit. It's a step towards financial wisdom.

How to Check Your Credit Score Without Affecting It

  • Use Reputable Platforms: Stick to well-known platforms that offer free credit checks
  • Understand Soft Inquiries: Know that checking your own score is a soft inquiry, which doesn't lower it
  • Avoid Multiple Hard Inquiries: Apply for credit sparingly to avoid hard inquiries that can affect your score
  • Monitor Regularly: Keep track of your score over time without fear

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Myths about credit scores abound, especially concerning the question, Does checking your credit score lower it? Some believe that any inquiry will drop the score, while others think that checking too often is harmful. 

The truth is, personal checks or soft inquiries don't affect your score at all. Understanding the difference between hard and soft inquiries dispels these myths and puts you in control of your financial destiny.


So, does checking your credit score lower it? Final answer is sometimes yes sometimes no. The fear that checking your credit score will lower it is unfounded. Soft inquiries, like checking your own score, have no impact, while hard inquiries by lenders have only a minor effect. Regular monitoring of your credit score is a responsible financial practice that empowers you to make informed decisions. So go ahead, check your credit score without worry. It's a tool for your financial growth, not a pitfall. Leverage the knowledge and take charge of your financial future with confidence.

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Further Reading


Q: Can requesting a credit limit increase lower my credit score?

A: Requesting a credit limit increase may lead to a hard inquiry, temporarily lowering your score by a few points. However, if approved, a higher credit limit can reduce your credit utilization ratio, potentially improving your score in the long run. Policies vary by lender, so it's wise to ask how they handle such requests.

Q: Does having multiple types of credit cards affect my score?

A: Having a mix of credit types, including different credit cards, can positively impact your score by showing you can manage various credit products. However, excessive applications for new cards can lead to multiple hard inquiries, temporarily lowering your score. Striking a balance between diversity and responsible credit management is key.

Q: How does a balance transfer credit card affect my credit score?

A: Balance transfers can temporarily lower your score due to hard inquiries and a potential decrease in the average age of your accounts. However, by consolidating debt and lowering credit utilization, a balance transfer may improve your score in the long run. Consider fees and promotional interest rates when evaluating this option.

Q: Can joint credit card accounts affect my individual credit score?

A: Yes, joint accounts are reported on both individuals' credit reports. Both parties' actions, such as payment history and credit utilization, will affect each other's credit scores. Joint accounts require mutual trust and communication to ensure that both parties maintain responsible credit behavior.

Q: Does paying my credit card bill in full every month boost my score?

A: Paying your credit card bill in full each month avoids interest charges and can positively impact your credit score by keeping your credit utilization low. Consistent, full payments demonstrate responsible credit management, contributing to a higher score. It also helps you avoid carrying a balance, which can lead to costly interest.


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