Checking Your Credit – Does it Hurt Your Score?

One of the biggest misconceptions among consumers is that if you check your own credit score, you’ll be docked points. Let us be very clear: Checking your own credit score, whether it be once a week or once a month, has no impact whatsoever on your score.

That’s because what you’re doing when you check your credit score is considered a “soft pull.” Other examples of soft pulls may be if you get per-approved for a mortgage or if you receive a credit card offer in the mail saying that you’ve been per-approved.

We’ll repeat — soft pulls have absolutely no impact on your credit score. However, while we note that, it’s also important to distinguish the difference between “soft” and “hard” pulls. Unlike soft pulls, hard pulls do have an effect on your credit score. Hard pulls are done any time you actually get approval for things like a mortgage, car loan or new credit card.

So just how much do hard pulls impact your FICO score? Hard pulls lower your score by five points for six months, so unless you’re having hard pulls done left and right, it’s unlikely that you’ll need credit repair solely because of this. But even so, if you’re in a situation in which you’re trying to repair your credit, it’s wise to stay away from hard pulls, as they won’t help – but can hurt – your score.

To recap: Soft pulls, like when you check your own credit score, have no impact on your overall score. But hard pulls, like when you get official mortgage or loan approval, do.