People often tell us that they are concerned about pulling or accessing their credit report, because they believe it will hurt their credit score. However, the reality is that as a consumer you can pull your credit report as often as you would like and it will not impact your credit score. Of course, it would get very expensive as we are only entitled to one free credit report, per year, from each one of the major credit bureaus. Those are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
You can receive your free credit reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. This site was created so that we can see what information is being distributed about us and have an opportunity to correct errors in our reports. These reports do not include a credit score. If you want to know your credit score, you can pay to add it onto the report. Scores usually cost $8 - $10 per report.
Getting back to credit inquiries or pulls that impact your score, those typically include applications for credit. If you are walking through the mall and you apply for a Macy’s credit card, a Nordstrom’s credit card and a Sears credit card each of those applications is a mark against your score. For some people the impact would be very little, but for others those inquiries can lead to a more significant drop in score.
You do have an opportunity to shop for the best deal when buying a home or an auto or applying for a student loan. Depending on the scoring model a lender is using, all home, car or student loan inquiries within a 14, 30 or 45 day window will count as one inquiry.
Also, rather than impacting your score because you are shopping for the best deal, some scores also IGNORE home, auto and student loan inquiries made within 30 days of scoring. You will still see all of the credit inquiries on your credit report (that is the law), but the impact will not be the same.
Some inquiries that do not count against your credit score include:
· Your own requests to see your report
· Employment checks
· Promotional inquiries from businesses offering you credit (if you accept their offer it becomes a regular inquiry)
While it is important to know what inquiries do and do not impact your credit, this section of a credit report typically has a very small influence on your credit score. The two most important components of a score are your payment history (do you pay your bills on time) and your available credit limit to credit usage ratio (how low you keep credit card balances).
For more information on credit scores, read more on our website or call a certified credit counselor today! 1-888-864-8659