Will checking my credit score hurt my credit?

Yes, and no.

The first thing you need to know to answer this fully is to understand a “hard pull” and a “soft pull” of a credit report. Hard pulls usually give impact on your credit report. Soft pulls on the other hand are equated to passive actions – and don’t give an impact in nearly all cases.

For instance, if you’ve been denied for a loan, and request a copy of your credit report, then you will see no negative in receiving your report. Car loans, mortgage applications and apartment applications can all fall into this category. These are hard pulls.

A soft pull of your credit report are things like pre-qualification and employment verification. When you request an annual copy of your credit report, that is also considered a soft pull.

Better examples of credit checks hurting you

To give a better example, we’ll look at John and his credit report over a 3 month period.

John is going to start looking for a job. So, he gets his free annual credit report from the Big 3 via https://www.annualcreditreport.com. However, this does not impact his credit score at all.

John then interviews for a new position. He allows his possible future employer to verify his history by doing a background check (including his credit report). Once again, this was a soft pull of his credit report and likely has zero impact.

After a few months of working, John applies for a line of credit for a new car. This involved a pre-approval (soft pull) and an actual application (hard pull).

Out of all of the actions that John took involving his credit and credit report, only the loan application would have any impact.

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