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February 08, 2010

Does checking your credit report hurt your credit score?

I get asked all the time whether a consumer checking his or her own credit report hurts the consumer's credit score.  The short answer - no.  When you as a consumer check your own credit report by requesting a copy from one of the big three credit bureaus, it is considered a "soft inquiry", which is only seen by the and does not affect the consumer's credit score in any way.

When a third party, such as a potential creditor, views a consumer's credit report, that is considered a "hard inquiry" and is seen by others reviewing the consumer's credit report.  A hard inquiry can also potentially affect your credit score.  But not always.

For instance, when you go out trying to buy a new car, the car dealership(s) you visit usually shop your credit around to try to get you the best financing and, as a result, increase their chances at a sale.  This shopping around causes multiple "hard inquiries" on your credit report.  However, these inquiries are treated as one inquiry, rather than several, for the purpose of keeping the inquiries from dragging down your credit score.

But I know of no set of circumstances where requesting your own credit report from one or more of the big three credit bureaus would hurt your credit score.


  1. Getting too many inquiries on your credit report can become an issue with your overall FICO score. is a site I found that is ran by a community service group that can help you remove credit report inquiries for $9.99. You do all of the leg work but they provide lawyer made dispute letters to remove credit inquiries. They also have letters for collections, late comments and debt settlement written by lawyers too on another website.

  2. While I have no knowledge concerning that site in particular, it has been my experience that any company or person that is willing to try to remove accurate, non-obsolete information from a consumer's credit report is almost always shady. Its one thing to pay someone to attempt to remove an INaccurate item. But to pay someone to attempt to remove an accurate item probably runs afoul of the Credit Repair Organizations Act, so be careful when dealing with such companies.