Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?


Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders use to assess your creditworthiness. It's generated based on the information contained in your credit report, which includes your payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit accounts, and recent credit inquiries. Given its importance, it's natural to wonder if merely checking your credit score can have a negative impact on it.

In this article, we'll delve into this common concern and dispel the myths surrounding it. We'll also explore how you can check your credit score without any detrimental effects and provide expert tips for maintaining a healthy credit profile.

Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?

Many people believe that each time they check their credit score, it takes a hit. This is a common misconception and one that can cause unnecessary anxiety. The truth is, that checking your own credit score does not affect it in any way.

Understanding Soft and Hard Inquiries

To clarify, there are two types of credit inquiries: soft inquiries and hard inquiries. Soft inquiries occur when you check your own credit or when a creditor reviews your credit as part of a promotional offer. These inquiries have no impact on your credit score. On the other hand, hard inquiries, which typically happen when you apply for credit, can have a slight negative effect on your score.

The Importance of Monitoring

In fact, regularly monitoring your credit score is a responsible financial practice. It allows you to stay informed about your financial health and detect any errors or fraudulent activity on your credit report. By catching and addressing issues early, you can prevent potential damage to your credit score.

FAQs about Checking Your Credit Score

Can checking my credit score too often be detrimental?

Checking your credit score too frequently is not harmful. As mentioned earlier, when you check your own credit, it's considered a soft inquiry and has no impact on your score. In fact, monitoring your score regularly is a good habit.

Will a credit score check by a lender lower my score?

A credit check by a lender, known as a hard inquiry, may cause a slight dip in your credit score. However, the impact is usually minimal, and your score can recover within a few months, especially if you manage your credit responsibly.

How can I check my credit score without affecting it?

You can check your credit score through various reputable sources, such as credit bureaus and credit monitoring services. These inquiries are typically soft inquiries and won't harm your credit score.

What's the ideal frequency for checking my credit score?

Checking your credit score once a month or even quarterly is a reasonable frequency. It allows you to stay informed without excessive inquiries.

Can others see when I check my credit score?

No, when you check your own credit score, it's a private matter. Others, such as lenders or potential creditors, can't see these inquiries.

What steps should I take if I notice errors on my credit report?

If you identify errors on your credit report, you should promptly dispute them with the credit bureau reporting the inaccuracies. Correcting errors can help improve your credit score.


In conclusion, the act of checking your credit score does not, in itself, lower it. This is a common myth that should not deter you from monitoring your financial health regularly. Understanding the difference between soft and hard inquiries is essential, as it clarifies how credit checks can affect your score.

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