Will My Credit Score Go Down If I Request My Own Credit Report?

Q: I have heard that credit inquiries can hurt your credit score. If I get my own credit report, will that affect my score?

A: As a consumer, you have the right by law to receive a copy of your own credit report once a year for free. You can find this free copy at annualcreditreport.com. This will not count as a credit inquiry and will not affect your score in any way.

Credit inquiries affect your score when your credit is pulled by a company or business looking to provide you with credit or financial sets. For example, if you apply for a credit card, mortgage or other loan, the company you apply to would pull your credit. Each pull on your credit is treated as a separate inquiry.

Multiple inquiries can have a negative affect on your credit. The scoring models view it in two ways. Either you are being turned down everywhere and getting desperate, or you are being approved everywhere and getting over extended with debt. Neither situation is good so the scores will be lowered as a warning to other lenders.

There are a few exceptions to the multiple credit inquiry scenario. Credit inquiries for sets such as insurance do not affect your score. Also, if you are shopping for a mortgage, multiple inquiries within a short period (usually about a week) will be treated as one inquiry to allow for “rate shopping.”

One place to be careful of is car dealerships. If your credit isn’t perfect, they could very well “shotgun” or send your credit application to several lenders at once, causing many inquiries at the same time. Be sure to ask the person to which you are making an application with how your credit request will be handled.

In summary, if you are pulling your own credit to review and make sure identity theft has not hit you, you have nothing to worry about. If you are seeking to make a major buy, like a mortgage, it is highly recommended that you find a broker that can pull your credit once and then look at several lenders for you with that one credit inquiry.

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